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NAM to Congress: It’s Time to Act on China

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We can ensure that this is the “American century” that brings success to manufacturers and citizens alike—but only through swift action to fix our relationship with China and ensure that our manufacturers can compete on a level playing field—the NAM recently told members of the House of Representatives’ China Accountability Task Force.

What’s going on: To strengthen national security and our global competitiveness, we need a new approach to China, NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Ken Monahan told key Republican leaders of the task force.

  • The task force, established by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R- CA) and run by the lead Republican on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), includes 18 leading Republican members focused on tackling broad issues related to China.

The recommendations: According to Monahan, the U.S. approach should include:

  • A “national strategic vision [for] and bold investments” in domestic manufacturing;
  • Sound engagement with allies, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region;
  • “Assertive global leadership to ensure that the U.S.—not China—is writing the rules for the international system, including issues such as trade and climate”;
  • Consistent pressure applied directly and with allies to ensure China meets its trade and economic commitments;
  • Strategic use of “enforcement tools to target … areas of problematic Chinese trade behavior”;
  • Expanded efforts to combat Chinese intellectual property theft;
  • Targeted upgrades to national security frameworks; and
  • Stronger collaboration between manufacturers in the United States, Congress and the executive branch “to advance American values abroad.”

Why it’s important: Without such moves, troubling actions by China would likely only increase.

  • “For manufacturers, China has long been a hub for unfair industrial subsidies and government-fueled overcapacity in areas like steel and aluminum that distort global markets,” Monahan said.
  • “China continues to promote discriminatory industrial policies, forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft that harm manufacturers and workers in the U.S. Increasingly, China is also using global institutions and its economic influence to build alliances that challenge American interests, human rights and democratic values.”

NAM leadership: The NAM has called on political leaders of both parties, in the administration and on Capitol Hill, to develop and implement a clear, robust strategy to tackle China built on these core principles. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons urged President Biden in March 2021 to take such action, repeating the call to senior administration officials in August 2021.

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