WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released a statement Friday ahead of the Senate’s vote on the CHIPS Act, a bill that does little to counter the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but spends billions of dollars we don’t have on corporate handouts to tech companies and more funding for federal agencies:
“The Chinese Communist Party represents a threat to American values, interests, and freedoms unlike any other we have faced in our history. Unfortunately, the CHIPS Act does little to counter those threats and protect our way of life.
“The answer to the CCP’s malevolent ambitions is not spending billions of dollars to help Fortune 500 companies, with no guarantee those dollars won’t end up supporting these companies’ business operations in China. Additionally, the act’s $250 billion price tag will contribute to record inflation and increase the already historic cost of living for working and middle-class Americans.
“CHIPS is a failure based on what’s in it and what it lacks. Frankly, it is unacceptable that this is the best bill Congress could come up with to protect American interests and counter the CCP’s evil influence and ambitions. It does nothing to hold Beijing accountable for unleashing and covering up the COVID-19 pandemic. It sidesteps any effort to explicitly bar CCP members or Chinese nationals from national security-related, federally funded research, or from owning land near U.S. national security facilities. It fails to hold American CEOs liable if their firms knowingly assist Beijing’s human rights abuses. It ignores important debates about restricting CCP lackeys from lobbying the people’s representatives in Congress. And while there is some encouraging language about limiting Chinese espionage, it does nothing to restore the Trump-era China Initiative, which rightfully focused on rooting out CCP influence and spying in corporate America and academia.
“Finally, given this legislation’s focus on semiconductor chips, it is mind-boggling that it fails to legislate any meaningful new support for our partner Taiwan, which is responsible for more than 90% of the world’s semiconductor output.
“We are now locked in a global, generational conflict with the Chinese Communist Party. It’s time our leaders acted like it. Lawmakers need to get serious about confronting the CCP—not just using it as a cover to advance policy agendas that have nothing to do with China. Rather than passing a bill just to say they ‘did something,’ the next Congress should write and pass a much stronger bill that actually advances our interests and sends a clear message of strength to the CCP.”