CPA applauds passage of House China Competition Bill

Published 12:15 am Saturday, February 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today applauded the House passage of the America COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521), the House’s China competition bill which contained a number of trade provisions that CPA supports and encouraged lawmakers to include. Specifically, the trade title of the House China competition bill represents a serious improvement over the trade title in the Senate-passed China competition bill, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) (S. 1260), which CPA urged members of the House Ways and Means Committee to reject.

“With the passage of this bill, the House has planted a clear line in the sand that it’s time to reform the flawed practice of granting trade preferences to countries that are anti-democratic and utilize forced labor,” said Zach Mottl, CPA’s Chairman. “The bill also prevents retailers from abusing the miscellaneous tariff program, which allows low tariff treatment for intermediate manufacturing goods that American workers need, but can’t get here, to make finished products. As House and Senate lawmakers seek to reconcile their two bills to address U.S. competition with China, we urge Congress to include the trade title of the House bill in any final package. Not only does the House trade title represent a monumental shift towards a more pro-worker U.S. trade policy, but it also fixes serious deficiencies in the Senate-passed legislation that would be a huge giveaway for Chinese importers and e-commerce retailers like Amazon.”

Notably, the America COMPETES Act of 2022l includes legislation strongly supported by CPA that was introduced by U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. The bill, Import Security and Fairness Act (H.R. 6412), will narrow an import loophole, known as de minimis, that is used by non-market economies and counterfeiters to ship hundreds of millions of packages valued under $800 into the United States without inspection, information disclosure, or duty payment. Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA, recently penned an op-ed highlighting the bill’s importance. Earlier this week, joined labor groups and trade associations that support American manufacturers in a coalition letter supporting Rep. Blumenauer’s bill.

“With today’s passage of the America COMPETES Act of 2022, House lawmakers have passed one of the most pro-worker trade bills introduced in Congress in decades,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “In particular, CPA strongly supports Rep. Blumenauer’s bill to address the de minimis loophole that companies like Amazon and China routinely exploit to avoid U.S. tariffs and CBP inspection. Senators that support pro-worker trade policies and efforts to reshore domestic manufacturing should strongly consider the merits of the House’s trade title, instead of the seriously flawed Senate language that guts our 301 tariffs and provides a windfall to multinational importers of cheap, often dangerous and counterfeit, Chinese goods.”

The America COMPETES Act of 2022 also includes additional legislation introduced by Chairman Blumenauer, which CPA strongly supports, that would modernize and reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), and the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (AMCA). Importantly, these bills address significant shortcomings in the Senate-passed USICA, which failed to fix the GSP eligibility criteria and transparency provisions, and address loopholes in the MTB process that benefit China. Additionally, the House legislation aims to support domestic manufacturers and limit benefits for imports from China by excluding finished products from future MTB cycles.

The trade title of the America COMPETES Act of 2022 includes provisions to:

  • Reform the GSP and MTB programs;
  • Strengthen U.S. international trade laws to stop unfairly-traded goods from exploiting the de minimis import threshold;
  • Strengthen U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws to protect American workers and combat China’s unfair, anti-free market trade practices that distort the global market; and
  • Allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection to update its staffing model to better respond to the challenges of the modern trading system.

Additionally, CPA supported the following amendments that were included in the America COMPETES Act of 2022:

  • Costa (D-CA) Amendment No. 49:Requires a report within 180 days reviewing the involvement of the People’s Republic of China, state sponsored companies, and companies incorporated in the PRC in the ownership, operation, or otherwise involvement in mining or processing facilities in countries from which the United States imports minerals, metals, and materials, and evaluating the strategic and national security implications for the United States of such involvement.
  • Fallon (R-TX) Amendment No. 78:Authorizes the hiring of 10 additional staff for the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to carry out activities associated with the People’s Republic of China.
  • Garamendi (D-CA) Amendment No. 91:Adds the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, and Islamic Republic of Iran to the list of prohibited “countries of concern” for the loans and loan guarantees under the proposed Critical Supply Chain Resilient Program. Sensitive materials sourced from these same non-allied foreign nations are excluded from DOD procurement.
  • Hill, French (R-AR) Amendment No. 111:Requires foreign business entities to assign and register an agent with the Department of Commerce as a prerequisite to doing business in the United States, and requires foreign business agents to be responsible and liable for any regulatory proceeding or civil action relating to such covered foreign entity.
  • Luria (D-VA) – Amendment No. 156:Prohibits the use of American Rescue Plan funds to purchase telecommunications equipment manufactured by Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE.
  • Salazar (R-FL) Amendment No. 212:Requires a report from the Department of State on major Chinese infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean and the ability of the host countries to service the debt associated with them.
  • Sherman (D-CA) Amendment No. 218:Requires issuers of securities which fulfill certain exemptions from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to submit basic information to the SEC regarding the issuer and the country in which it is based.

CPA is the leading national, bipartisan organization representing exclusively domestic producers and workers across many sectors of the U.S. economy. For nearly two decades, CPA has advocated for the implementation of strategic trade, tax and growth policies that deliver prosperity and security to America, its citizens, farms, factories, and workers. We are a bipartisan coalition of farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and labor organizations that make and grow things in the United States. Our members believe that America’s strength and well being is based upon growing America’s productive capacity and quality employment more than cheap consumption.