WASHINGTON—Walter Lohman, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, released the following statement Friday on House Democrats’ America COMPETES Act. The proposal has been put forward by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a response to the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party, but in reality is little more than billions in federal funding for far-left wish-list items:
“Legislation supposedly aimed at confronting the China threat should actually deal with the China threat. Unfortunately, the America COMPETES Act largely fails to pass this simple test. Barring a handful of provisions, the bill’s nearly 3,000 pages have nothing to do with countering China.
“At a time when we need to focus on the myriad of threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party across the board, the left is using that same threat as a Trojan horse to essentially pass President Biden’s unpopular ‘Build Back Better’ agenda and dole out gifts to its constituencies.
“Especially troubling are tens of billions of taxpayer dollars the bill gives American tech companies to make semiconductors, with no requirement that those companies change their business relationships in China. Make no mistake, this funding for American companies will ultimately just pass through to their China business. American taxpayer dollars will directly subsidize Chinese industry, in the name of competing with it. Subsidies for microchip production are also little more than a reward for well-connected corporations that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars that these companies could front for themselves.
“Instead of these unserious proposals, Congress needs to pass legislation that ends China’s intellectual property theft, holds them accountable for their covering up of COVID-19 and ongoing genocide of religious minorities, exposes their use of state-owned enterprises in America, and address the CCP’s aggressive behavior toward the international community. The CCP is the greatest external threat to the United States and must be defeated.”