House to vote on bill to invest in manufacturing and research and counter China’s influence

The legislation proposed by House Democrats — called the America COMPETES Act of 2022 — is made up of a series of bills and provisions crafted by an array of committees. It addresses pressing economic issues facing the Biden administration, including supply chain disruptions and a global shortage of semiconductor chips, critical to the production of smartphones, medical equipment and cars. In addition, the bill calls for a number of changes to U.S. trade rules, aimed at leveling the playing field for U.S. businesses and tackling China’s market-distorting trade practices.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, described the legislation as “a bill with teeth that clamps down on China’s abuse of US trade laws.”

“The America COMPETES Act of 2022 is the best and boldest option we have to resist China’s harmful actions and support American workers,” Neal said. said in a press release On the bill.

House Republicans, however, criticized the legislation, saying it would not effectively thwart China.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy attacked the bill in a statementclaiming it “wastes billions of dollars” and “includes no measures to make China pay for the chaos they have created”.

“The COMPETES Act is not serious legislation – it is a front to cover up the Democrats’ reluctance to do anything to hold China accountable and their desperation to do anything to distract from their domestic crises. “, did he declare.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters earlier in the week that she was confident House Democrats would be able to pass the measure without Republican support.

“The only thing is that (the Republicans) may not want the president to win a victory, which is a sad statement from them, because this is really about jobs and national security. “, she said.

The Senate passed its own legislation last year aimed at countering Chinese influence by investing in American technology, science and research — with bipartisan support. Although the House bill also seeks to increase US competitiveness abroad, it is not identical legislation.

A majority staff aide to the House Science Committee tells CNN that differences between House and Senate legislation are expected to eventually be reconciled in order to get a bill to the desk. of the President as soon as possible.

This could be done either through a formal conference committee process or through negotiations between the House and the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week that he thinks the House and Senate bills aren’t that far apart and that he thinks “any loopholes are very easy to fix.” to fill in”.

“I am very optimistic that we will finish this bill very soon,” he added.

House bill targets manufacturing, research and trade rules

The House legislation would set aside billions of dollars to support research and manufacturing.

It would provide $52 billion over five years to boost research, design and manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States, according to a summary of the bill provided by House Democrats.

It would also provide $45 billion over six years in grants and loans to improve the nation’s supply chains and to boost U.S. manufacturing of goods deemed essential to national security and the U.S. economy — like public health products. , communication technologies and food – according to the summary.

It would set aside an additional $3 billion for the country’s solar manufacturing supply chain, in a bid to reduce the country’s reliance on China for parts.

In terms of trade policy, the bill includes a number of changes aimed at creating a level playing field for American businesses.

It would strengthen U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty rules and reauthorize two key tariff relief programs, known as the Miscellaneous Tariffs Act program and the Generalized System of Preferences. He would also renew a program called Trade Adjustment Assistance that provides assistance to American workers who lose their jobs or whose wages are reduced due to increased imports. The bill would also empower the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to review and potentially prevent U.S. companies from moving manufacturing overseas if the product is critical to the country’s supply chain or poses a security threat. national.

The bill would also invest $160 billion in scientific research and innovation, increasing overall funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.

CNN’s Ali Zaslav and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.

Marjorie N. McClure