WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) offered amendments to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act, being considered on the Senate floor this week. Romney’s amendments would require the President to develop and submit to Congress a grand strategy with respect to China, promote rare earth mineral independence from China, and call for partnerships with allies to prevent Chinese companies from profiting from stolen intellectual property. His amendments also require reporting on Chinese propaganda efforts and direct the Administration to begin negotiations of a free trade agreement with Taiwan.
“It is becoming increasingly urgent that we develop a comprehensive strategy to counter the China threat, which has grown during the COVID pandemic as the Chinese Communist Party exerts its political leverage over other countries,” Senator Romney said. “These amendments will strengthen the United States’ ability to compete with China. By partnering with our allies to ensure no goods made from stolen intellectual property make their way into our economies, we can encourage the CCP to change its predatory behavior. We must also address our dependence on China for rare earth minerals to shore up our supply chains and support the independence of Taiwan by entering into negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement.”
Amendments authored by Senator Romney:
- U.S. Grand Strategy with Respect to China. Requires the President to develop and submit to Congress a grand strategy to address the new era of geostrategic and geoeconomic competition with China. Convenes an advisory board of outside experts from the private sector, academia, and think tanks to review the current strategy, including challenging its assumptions and approach, and make recommendations to the President for the strategy. Co-sponsored by Senator Menendez (D-NJ).
- Report on Chinese Propaganda Efforts. Requires a comprehensive analysis of China’s propaganda efforts worldwide and the effectiveness of U.S. efforts to counter it with accurate information.
- Directing Negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan. Directs the U.S. Trade Representative to enter negotiations with Taiwan to establish a bilateral free trade agreement.
- Joint-Action Against IP Theft with Allies. Directs the U.S. Trade Representative to enter negotiations with our allies to stop importation of goods made with stolen intellectual property into the U.S. and allied countries.
- Sanctions on Chinese Officials who Retaliated Against COVID-19 Whistleblowers. Requires a report on Chinese government efforts to censor information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and imposes sanctions on Chinese government officials responsible for retaliation against COVID-19 whistleblowers like Li Wenliang. Co-sponsored by Senator Rubio (R-FL).
- Report on Domestic Processing of Rare Earth Minerals. Requires a report on domestic processing of rare earth minerals and the authorities and funding necessary to achieve supply chain independence for the U.S. military and our allies and partners from China’s growing control of the market.
- Require DHS Preclearance in Taiwan Airport. Requires the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to establish and maintain preclearance operations at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan. Co-sponsored by Senator Rubio (R-FL).