Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on China’s Economic Transgressions

This week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation held a hearing for its Economic and Security Subcommittee. The hearing, titled, “The China Challenges: Realignment of U.S. Economic Policies to Build Resiliency and Competitiveness,” examined topics related to the Chinese Communist Party’s unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and market manipulation and their harmful impact on U.S. global economic competitiveness. Subcommittee chairman Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) started off by remarking that China’s IP theft, cybersecurity transgressions, and non-reciprocal trade manipulation is one of the most pressing issues facing America today and hopes it can be addressed on a bipartisan basis.

The first witness panel featured Dr. Rush Doshi, director of the Chinese Strategy Initiative at The Brookings Institution, and Michael Wessel, commissioner of the U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission. Wessel remarked that the U.S. should engage diplomatically with our allies to push back on CCP influence, as seen in the recent United Kingdom ban on Huawei. He added that Huawei, TikTok, and other CCP-controlled companies are security risks because of their repeated censorship, shipment of data, and hacks of U.S. citizens. Dr. Doshi pointed to the massive threat that their research and development spending poses for global telecom standing, as they have already invested $1.4 trillion in 5G technology for domestic purposes.

The second witness panel featured Keith Krach, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the State Department, and Nazak Nikakhtar, Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis at the Department of Commerce. Krach called China the “epicenter of the economic security threat landscape” and pointed to the Trump Administration’s strategy to turbocharge competitiveness in 5G and semiconductors, safeguarding IP and core freedoms and demanding reciprocity, and building a new alliance of democracies to oppose China. Nikakhtar described China’s most effective tools as those regulated by weak or nonexistent international bodies, and called for a stronger international response to CCP transgressions.

The Economic and Security Subcommittee deserves commendation for exploring how China’s illegal and malicious practices harm the American economy, violate international law, and put people’s health, safety, privacy, and security at risk.