A bipartisan bill introduced on June 13 designed to protect American manufacturing in industries vital to national security is being opposed by major corporations and trade groups with interests in China.
The Bipartisan Innovation Act (BIA) would require companies based in the U.S. to disclose their plans to develop products inside China or other “foreign adversaries” that implicate national security. Covered products would include drones, other military products, and pharmaceuticals.
A federal agency would be empowered to vet and block foreign investments that would be deemed harmful to American security.
The U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) is a trade organization with over 250 corporate members and opposes the BIA. Senior Director Douglas K. Barry told the Daily Caller that the legislation will “lead to regulatory uncertainty which will paralyze companies.” He also said the BIA will harm weakened U.S. supply chains.
Barry said his group understands the need to protect the U.S. from overseas investments that damage national security. However, he said the proposed bill “would be far too broad in covering many sectors” that are not critical to security.
USCBC membership includes major U.S. companies that officially sponsored the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, including Coca-Cola, Intel, Visa, and Procter & Gamble. Even though those companies are willing to overlook China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghur ethnic minorities, they have halted operations in Russia after it invaded Ukraine.
USCBC has successfully lobbied to defeat previous bills that would require federal government reviews of American investments inside China.
Human rights group ChinaAid president Pastor Bob Fu said USCBC has a long history of lobbying on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership. He said that the trade organization is partially responsible for making America dependent on Chinese manufacturing. The result has been massive compromises in U.S. national security and the continuing supply chain crisis.
Fu added that USCBC has downplayed Chinese human rights violations as part of its work to promote China’s access to the American import market.
The USCBC also opposed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which recently went into effect. That law requires U.S. companies to ensure they do not trade in products manufactured using Uyghur slave labor. Barry said that the UFLPA will make U.S. inflation worse and will “create significant uncertainty.”