America COMPETES Act, with key provisions drafted by Committee members, passes in House
Washington, D.C., February 4, 2022
Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced the House’s passage of the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022, which contains important provisions that Chair Waters is working closely with Members on has worked with the Financial Services Committee and with Speaker Pelosi to record.
This bill passed the House with a vote of 222-210.
The America COMPETES Act of 2022 aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the US economy and US companies and to counteract anti-competitive measures by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It also directs the federal government to work with Congress to ensure the security of the economies of America and our allies.
“The America COMPETES Act is transformative legislation that will empower American workers and businesses. It will also strengthen our country’s financial system and allow us to better compete with the rest of the world, especially the People’s Republic of China.” said Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters. “Under my leadership as Chair of the Financial Services Committee, our members have taken precautions to protect our national security and global financial stability. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to quickly wrap up the upcoming conference so we can send this bill to President Biden for signature.”
Below is a summary of the provisions written by House Members in Division G of the America COMPETES Act:
- US Policy on World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank Loans to China(Title I): This provision, which is identical to HR 6475, of Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) Directs the Treasury Department to vote against any World Bank or Asian Development Bank loans to China unless the Treasury Secretary has confirmed to Congress that China credibly participates in multilateral debt relief initiatives on terms comparable to those of other G-20 governments are; allows borrower countries to apply for restructuring of China loans in official multilateral debt relief forums; allows public disclosure of the terms of its loans to other countries; and such support contributes significantly to the delivery of a global public good that serves the national interests of the United States, such as B. Limiting the negative effects of climate change.
- Prohibitions or conditions on certain transfers of funds(Title II): This provision of Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) streamlines the process by which special measures can be put in place and modernizes the powers granted to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) by enabling the agency to prosecute malicious actors such as those who launder and/or derive Chinese ransomware proceeds A primary money laundering problem whose support for North Korea’s evasion of sanctions. The provision is similar to a Mr Himes-proposed amendment to HR 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which the House passed.
- Ban on trading on the US stock exchange for two consecutive non-inspection years for auditors, (Title III): This provision of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) Reduces the grace period that US public companies currently have under the Holding Foreign Company Accountable Act of 2020 to comply with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspection requirements. The current law provides three years to either comply with PCAOB rules or be delisted from US exchanges. This provision is identical to Mr. Sherman’s HR 6285, Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act.
- Study Act on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade(Title IV): This provision, which is identical to HR 6477, of MP Madeleine Dean (D-PA) Calls on the Ministry of Finance to examine wildlife trade and its proceeds, including an investigation into the proliferation of online platforms and the convergence of trade in goods, finance and illegal networks, many of which are fueled by Chinese criminal activity and demand.
- Study on Chinese support for Afghan illicit finance(Title V): This provision of Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) directs the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to brief Congress on identifying and analyzing China’s economic, commercial and financial ties to Afghanistan that fuel both Chinese and Taliban interests to include illicit financial networks that drug trafficking, illicit financial transactions, official corruption, exploitation of natural resources and terrorist networks.
- US Policy on Multilateral Development Bank Co-financing Arrangements with China Infrastructure Bank(Title VI): This provision, which is identical to HR 6476, of Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) Directs the Treasury Department to vote against any program or project at the multilateral development banks (such as the World Bank) if the project involves co-financing from the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), unless the Secretary has the AIIB has a proven track record of providing grants and concessional support to its poorest members.
- Mitigating Financial Threats in China(Title VII): This provision of Member of Parliament Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) will request the Treasury Department to examine and issue a report on the risks posed by the People’s Republic of China to US financial stability and the global economy and make recommendations to US officials at relevant international organizations to better monitor and take action to mitigate those risks. The report must be submitted 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 HR 4350, the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
- Supporting debt relief for developing countries(Title VIII): This provision, which is identical to HR6549, was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)directs the Secretary of the Treasury and United States representatives to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to work with international financial institutions, official creditors and relevant commercial creditor groups to advocate for the effective implementation of the G-20 Common Framework – the first multilateral debt relief initiative to be implemented aims to reduce the debt burden of developing countries to include China as an official creditor – by establishing clear procedures and committing to transparency and fair burden-sharing through broad creditor participation.
- Improving COVID-19 emergency medical care(Title X): This provision of Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) builds on the purpose of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ensure our nation has the materials necessary to respond to COVID-19. It would allow certain medical supplies to qualify for purchase and increased production under the DPA. It would also allow the federal government to give precedence to orders from state, local, or tribal governments. Finally, it provides a framework for streamlined private sector engagement, directs the President to support production of critical COVID-19-related medical materials in the supply chain, and requires reporting of purchases made and contracts signed among DPA authorities. Rep. Vargas sponsored a substantially similar provision, HR 3125, the COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement Act of 2021, previously passed the House in May 2021.
- Backing up America’s vaccines for emergencies(Title IX): This provision of Representative French Hill (R-AR) Clarifies that the President should, where appropriate, use his powers under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA) to ensure the availability of medical supplies essential to the national defense and may provide inducements to increase the availability of such essential medical supplies ensure. This provision also requires the President to present a strategy and report on securing medical supplies supply chains to ensure that essential components of the supply chain are not under the exclusive control of a foreign government and pose a threat to national security.