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VIDEO: On Senate Floor, Rubio Unveils Bill to Protect American Workers from China’s Economic Aggression

May 10, 2018 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke on the Senate floor today to unveil the Fair Trade with China Enforcement Act, legislation that would safeguard American assets from Chinese influence and possession, and serve to blunt China’s tools of economic aggression. A one pager of the bill is available here.
 
Last week, Rubio published an op-ed in the Washington Post to outline how America’s economic relationship with China has become increasingly unbalanced for the United States and other nations.
 
A rough and partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below:
 
“There was a consensus which, I could admit I perhaps from time to time was a partner in, that China was a country that would eventually – as it grew more prosperous – would become not just more democratic but more willing to live by rules that the world has conducted itself by since the end of the second World War. Now, perhaps I wasn’t as strong an adherent of that as some others. I have always been, of course, deeply suspicious of communism and autocratic nations, but there was still this belief that somehow things would work out and that eventually at some point both demographics and economics would force China to accept the benefits and the wisdom of a global economic order. That was a terrible mistake.

“So that is what I hope to address through a new bill called the Fair Trade in China Enforcement Act, which I have filed today. The first problem we want to address is that China is building its industrial capacity with U.S. intellectual property and technology. I have highlighted how they steal our technology and our intellectual property, and they use it. As an example, General Electric and Honeywell technology is being used in China by one of G.E. and Honeywell’s competitors. They didn’t sell it to them. It was stolen from them. Two American companies had their secrets stolen, and now their competitor in China is using their technology that they spent money and time investing in.
 
“The solution to that problem is to pass a law that prohibits the sale of national security sensitive technology and intellectual property to China. And the bill would do this by directing the Department of Commerce to use its export control authority to block military-capacity exports and components of Made in China 2025 exports to China. So basically the Department of Commerce would look at Made in China 2025. These are the sectors that they are trying to dominate, and we would prohibit the sale or the transfer of intellectual property sensitive to those industries. Meaning American companies, even if they have a partnership with China, would be prohibited by law in sharing this information with them willingly.”

“The second problem we have frankly is here at home, and that is we have these large multinational United States companies that have very valuable intellectual property and technology, who partner with Chinese firms, and they know that their intellectual property is going to be stolen, but they don’t care. And they don’t care, number one, because they are not going to pay the full costs of the loss of this intellectual property. It’s going to be borne out by the entire country.
 
“The solution that I propose to that problem in this law is to increase taxes on multinational corporations and the income that they earn in China and the tax would be increased equal to the amount of the lost value of the stolen intellectual property or technology. So if we have lost a billion dollars, there would be a billion-dollar increase in that business profit that they made in China through that partnership. It does this by imposing a tax rate of 2%, roughly equal to what the Trade Representative’s Office estimates is the cost of lost intellectual property as a percent of total corporate profits in China.

The third problem we have is that China — and I mean China both its sovereign wealth management and individuals who have made a lot of money directed by government in many cases, has gone on a buying spree of U.S. debt, treasuries, of stocks, even of real estate, my hometown of Miami is one of the places being heavily invested in now, to increase their trade surplus and to weaken the U.S. economy…this cheap financing has driven up our national debt here.”
 
“The solution is to update the income tax treaty that was signed in the 1980’s. And that would tax Chinese profits on these investments, including the holdings of the national debt out of previous preferential rate to what it would be for anybody else. What my law would do, it would make withholding taxes on Chinese investment income revert to what the law is for everyone else. For example, the U.S. payor would withhold a greater amount of tax on distributions to Chinese payees. So they would — whatever income they are making from the debt, from the stocks, from the assets they bought in the united states and they’ve invested in, whatever they’re making on it, they would pay taxes on that income.”

One additional problem that we want to address is that the Chinese government’s “Made in 2025” plan is a plan to displace advanced American manufacturing, and they intend to do that no matter what it takes.
 
What is the solution? The solution is to prepare duties on and impose Chinese investor shareholder caps on U.S. companies producing goods targeted by “Made in China 2025.” This bill would do this by defining “Made in China 2025” as a countervailable subsidy for American industries affected by “Made in China 2025” exports, thus reducing future demand for Chinese exports in these industries. We have to raise the price of the products that they are stealing from us, otherwise they will put our industries out of business and our children will live in a world where we depend on China for artificial intelligence, for robotics, for new energy vehicles, for aerospace, for pharma. Can you imagine living in a world where the cure for Alzheimer’s is controlled by Chinese pharmaceutical companies?

“This is about more than just trade. This is about geopolitics and national security. It will be the defining issue of the century and the time to take it seriously is now.