Gallagher Committee Commandeers Prime Time


The time has come to “take off the golden blindfolds and open our eyes to the risks in China,” the head of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party declared at an evening hearing May 17.

Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) said that while a total economic decoupling from China is not possible, his panel will come up with policy recommendations for a “strategic derisking.”

The Select Committee, which was formed at the beginning of the year, held its third hearing Wednesday night. This  week, it will hold its first business meeting to begin looking at policy recommendations before moving on to possible legislative options.

Committee members Thursday headed to London to meet with Parliament members and government officials to look at ways the two allies can work together to fight Chinese economic aggression.

During Wednesday’s hearing, committee members seemed particularly interested in legislation that would crack down on Chinese investment in the US agriculture sector, with support from both sides of the political aisle.

Former US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who oversaw the imposition of increased tariffs on almost all Chinese imports into the United States during the Trump Administration, urged lawmakers to go even further by essentially banning all US investment in China.

Mr. Lighthizer called China “the most dangerous threat we have as a nation.” Beijing is an “openly hostile adversary that has been waging an economic war against the United States for decades,” he warned.

At the same time, he agreed that cutting off all economic relations with China is not feasible. Instead, he called for a “strategic decoupling” that would include imposing even more tariffs on Chinese goods until bilateral trade is in balance, expanding export controls to keep US technology out of China’s hands, strict limits on Chinese investment in the United States and “severely restricted” US investment in China. Congress needs to right the rules to make “strategic decoupling” happen, he said.

Mr. Lighthizer also endorsed calls by some Congressional lawmakers to revoke China’s membership in the World Trade Organization. But Congress should go even further by also taking away China’s most- favored-nation status, which would mean higher tariffs on Chinese products coming into the US market.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt struck a constructive tone, suggesting “ we do it the American way — with the government and the private sector working together as true partners, not by government edict; we do it with our brilliant domestic talent and by attracting immigrants, not by walling off the world; and we do it along with like-minded nations because we are stronger together."

Mr. Schmidt’s recommendations include

  • Increased government investment in basic and applied research,
  • An increased commitment to public education including a new National Defense Education Act (NDEA) II, modeled after the post-Sputnik NDEA of the 1950s, that made landmark investments in the U.S. educational system, particularly K-12, and reforms to the visa process to recruit and retain top talent from abroad to close the gap.
  • implement a defense strategy empowered by technology and AI.
  • We must develop and shape technologies with democratic values.We need a set of governance principles for AI to balance the tradeoffs between innovation and protecting our rights and values.
  • United States must not act alone; we must work with our many allies and partners, for they are a true force multiplier

Mr. Schmidt testified in his capacity as  Chair of the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness as AI and other emerging technologies shape our national security, economy, and society.

Click HERE for Chairman Gallagher's opening statement

Click HERE for Robert Lighthizer's written testimony

Click HERE for Roger Robinson's written testimony

Click HERE for Eric Schmidt's written testimony


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