“For decades, politicians in Washington have failed the families of North Carolina and the country in addressing China’s rise,” Walker, a former pastor, said in a press release. “We have allowed the economic, human rights, and now global health abuses of the Chinese Communist Party—at the expense of our workers and families—go unchecked long enough. It’s time to cage the Paper Tiger and show the world that China is much more roar than bite.”
The new act refers to a literal translation of the Chinese idiom “zhilaohu,” meaning someone or something that seems threatening but is ineffectual, and includes safeguards to protect American interests.
The act (pdf) comprises three main components including prohibiting the listing of Chinese firms on American stock exchanges, and providing immediate expensing for costs related to moving business activity and manufacturing from China to the United States. It states that a “specified taxpayer may elect to treat amounts paid or incurred for repatriation property as an expense which is not chargeable to capital account,” and “any cost so treated shall be allowed as a deduction for the taxable year in which such repatriation property is placed in service.”
The final component of the bill is to establish counterintelligence awareness training for faculty of colleges and universities, while also requiring enhancements to the Student Exchange Visitor Program operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“These components encompass a clear and concise strategy to not only protect our country from Chinese national security threats, but to prioritize and promote American business interests at the same time,” according to the press release.
This is not the first time Walker has led efforts to combat Chinese national security threats. In October last year, the North Carolina lawmaker introduced the Homeland Security Counterintelligence Threat Reduction Act, which would require the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to form a task force to improve counterintelligence vetting.
Senators are also pushing to impose sanctions on China in a bid to hold the country accountable for the CCP virus outbreak, which occurred in Wuhan in December last year and has created a global pandemic.
Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) have co-sponsored the COVID-19 Accountability Act which authorizes President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China if it fails to provide a full account of the events leading up to the outbreak of COVID-19.