China Crackdown?

Congress has intensified interest and activity on China in recent weeks, including three high-profile hearings. Common concerns expressed by members included:

  • Deep skepticism and mistrust toward the Chinese Government. Members described an “existential” struggle between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who they perceive as intently focused on displacing the U.S. as global leader. Members agreed the United States must marshal its resources to counter the influence of China across a range of sectors.
  • Depictions of the CCP as all-powerful and omnipresent, with unchecked power to manipulate China-based or Chinese-owned businesses, gain access to data and spread disinformation. The view of the CCP as always present was expressed by both Republicans and Democrats across the three hearings, who described the party as “Orwellian,” a “digital dictatorship,” “deceitful” and “coercive.” Members believe the CCP is manipulating the business community by encouraging censorship, accessing data, pushing misinformation and using technology for surveillance.
  • Growing interest in decoupling American and Chinese business ties. Members expressed concerns about American companies’ presence in or investment in China and have embraced policies to “decouple” American and Chinese business ties. Members have identified several legislative actions they may pursue to rein in perceived threats by China that would impact American businesses, including: 
    • Increased enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
    • Comprehensive data privacy legislation
    • Legislation to prevent deceptive user interfaces
    • Strengthening outbound and inbound investment reviews
    • Strengthening U.S. trade remedy laws and 
    • Preventing Chinese ownership of American farmland.