Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) is set to introduce a bill to help companies move their manufacturing from China to the United States as momentum builds for the country to “decouple” from the Chinese regime as a result of the pandemic.
Green told The Epoch Times that his forthcoming bill would allow firms to deduct the entire cost of capital spending associated with relocating from China—known as “immediate expensing”—to lure companies to move to the United States. The bill would pay for this with money collected from U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, he proposed.
The idea of covering 100 percent of moving costs was also recently endorsed by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who said it would be “a very good thing for American companies.”
The move comes as the Trump administration pushes to cut its supply chain dependence on China. The pandemic’s disruption of global supply chains along with the Chinese regime’s mishandling of the outbreak has propelled the United States and other countries to find alternative manufacturing bases.
“Any efforts to decouple is … wise for us, both from an economic standpoint and from a national security standpoint,” Green said.
He said the bill was slated to be introduced by the end of the week.
Green recently introduced another bill aimed to stop China from acquiring U.S. companies vital to national security, as asset prices fall due to the pandemic.
“Right now, they are on a buying spree across the globe for companies with a significant national security implication,” he said.
The congressman cited as an example United Airlines’ recent sale and lease back of 22 planes to Bank of China Aviation, the Hong Kong-listed unit of Chinese state-owned Bank of China.
“Now China has 22 large aircrafts that they could take off the market if they wanted to hurt the United States,” Green said.
The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also warned of such developments.
“Some may seek to use the economic downturn as an opening to invest in our critical industries and infrastructure,” NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said on April 15.
Green’s SOS ACT (Secure Our Systems Against China’s Tactics) would incentivize Americans to invest in companies critical to national security by having the Treasury back 50 percent of the investment. In this way, if the investments fail, investors can recover half of their initial costs back, Green said. To pay for this initiative, the bill would set aside $10 billion from the CARES Act, the virus-related relief package.
Making Beijing Pay
The congressman criticized efforts to blame President Donald Trump for his handling of the pandemic when the attention should be focused on the Chinese regime’s coverup, which caused the global spread of the disease.
“I think this is a strategic effort of the media to frame Trump for something that’s not his fault,” Green said. “China clearly could have stopped this.”
He said the regime’s failure to disclose what it knew about the virus in the early stages, including its contagiousness and severity, meant that the United States was making decisions based on incomplete information.
Green applauded Trump’s decision early on to ban travelers from China, a move that was criticized by Beijing and the World Health Organization at the time.
The Trump administration is reportedly considering a range of measures against the regime for causing the pandemic, including sanctions, trade restrictions, and removing the legal protection of sovereign immunity, which would allow Americans to sue Beijing in U.S. courts.
Green supports canceling U.S. debt obligations to the regime as a way to recoup the costs of the pandemic’s damage to the United States. Trump recently rejected the idea, calling it a “rough game,” while suggesting that sanctions could involve tariffs on China instead.
“The United States has basically had to crush its economy. Therefore we expect them to cover that loss,” Green said.