Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced the passage of the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022 in the House, which includes key provisions that Chairwoman Waters worked closely with members on the Financial Services Committee and with Speaker Pelosi to include.
This bill passed the house by a vote of 222-210.
The America COMPETES Act of 2022 aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the U.S. economy and U.S. businesses, and counters anti-competitive actions taken by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It also instructs the federal government to work with Congress to ensure the safety and security of America’s and our allies’ economies.
“The America COMPETES Act is a transformational piece of legislation that will empower American workers and businesses. It will also strengthen our nation’s financial system and allow us to better compete with the rest of the world, especially with the People’s Republic of China,” said Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters. “Under my leadership as Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, our members secured provisions that protect our national security and global financial stability. I look forward to engaging with my colleagues in the Senate to quickly finish the upcoming conference so we can send this bill to President Biden for his signature.”
See below for a summary of provisions authored by House Members in Division G of the America COMPETES Act:
U.S. Policy on World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank Loans to China, (Title I): This provision, which is identical to H.R. 6475, by Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) directs the Treasury to vote against any loans to China from the World Bank or Asian Development Bank unless the Secretary of Treasury has certified to Congress that China credibly participates in multilateral debt relief initiatives on terms comparable to other G-20 governments; allows borrowing countries to seek restructuring of China loans in official multilateral debt relief forums; allows for the public disclosure of the terms and conditions of its loans to other countries; and such assistance contributes significantly to the provision of a global public good that serves the national interest of the United States, such as limiting the negative impacts of climate change.
Prohibitions or Conditions on Certain Transmittal of Funds, (Title II): This provision by Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) streamlines the process by which special measures may be introduced and modernizes the authorities granted to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) by allowing the agency to pursue bad actors like those laundering the proceeds of Chinese ransomware and or declared a Primary Money Laundering Concern due to support to North Korea’s sanctions evasion. The provision is similar to an amendment offered by Mr. Himes to H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which passed the House.
U.S. Stock Exchange Trading Prohibition for Two Consecutive Auditor Non-Inspection Years, (Title III): This provision by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) shortens the grace period that US stock exchange listed companies currently have, under Holding Foreign Company Accountable Act of 2020, to comply with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspection requirements. The current law allows for three years to either comply with PCAOB rules or get delisted from US stock exchanges. This provision is identical to Mr. Sherman’s H.R. 6285, Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act.
Combating Wildlife Trafficking Financing and Proceeds Study Act, (Title IV): This provision, which is identical to H.R. 6477, by Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) requires the Treasury to study wildlife trafficking and its proceeds, including an examination of the proliferation of online platforms and the convergence of trafficking commodities, financial enablers, and illicit networks, many of which are fueled by Chinese criminal activity and demand.
Study on Chinese Support for Afghan Illicit Finance, (Title V): This provision by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) directs Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to brief Congress on the identification and analysis of Chinese economic, commercial, and financial connections to Afghanistan which fuel both Chinese and Taliban interests, to include illicit financial networks involved in narcotics trafficking, illicit financial transactions, official corruption, natural resources exploitation, and terrorist networks.
U.S. Policy on Multilateral Development Bank Co-Financing Arrangements with China’s Infrastructure Bank, (Title VI): This provision, which is identical to H.R. 6476, by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) directs Treasury to vote against any program or project at the multilateral development banks (such as the World Bank) if the project includes co-financing provided by the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), unless the Secretary has certified that the AIIB has demonstrated a track record of providing grants and concessional assistance to its poorest members.
China Financial Threat Mitigation, (Title VII): This provision by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) will require the Treasury Department to study and issue a report analyzing risks to U.S. financial stability and the global economy emanating from the People’s Republic of China and provide recommendations to U.S. representatives of relevant international organizations to better monitor and take action to mitigate such risks. The report is due to Congress by December 31, 2022, and the unclassified portions of the report must be published by that date. The House previously passed a similar provision offered by Rep. Spanberger as an amendment to H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.
Support for Debt Relief for Developing Countries, (Title VIII): This provision, which is identical to H.R.6549, introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), directs the Secretary of Treasury and the United States representatives at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to engage with international financial institutions, official creditors, and relevant commercial creditor groups to advocate for the effective implementation of the G-20’s Common Framework—the first multilateral debt relief initiative aimed at easing the debt burdens of developing countries to include China as an official creditor—through the establishment of clear procedures and a commitment to transparency and equitable burden-sharing through broad creditor participation.
COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement, (Title X): This provision by Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) builds on the Defense Production Act’s (DPA) purpose to ensure our nation has the materials necessary to respond to COVID-19. It would allow certain medical materials to qualify for purchase and increased production under the DPA. It would also allow the federal government to prioritize state, local or tribal governments’ orders. Finally, it provides a framework for streamlined private sector engagement, directs the President to support the supply chain production of essential COVID-19 related medical materials, and requires reporting on purchases made and contracts entered under DPA authorities. Rep. Vargas sponsored substantially similar provision, H.R. 3125, the COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement Act of 2021, which previously passed the House in May 2021.
Securing America’s Vaccines for Emergencies, (Title IX): This provision by Rep. French Hill (R-AR) clarifies that the President should, when appropriate, use his authority under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA) to ensure the availability of medical materials essential to national defense and may provide incentives to ensure the availability of these essential medical materials. This provision also requires the President to submit a strategy and report on securing medical materials supply chains to ensure that essential components of the supply chain are not under the exclusive control of a foreign government in a manner that threatens national security.