In-Depth: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) reintroduced this bill to bolster U.S. business competitiveness abroad and counter Chinese commercial competition by prioritizing economic and commercial diplomacy through enhanced partnership integration between the State Dept., Dept. of Commerce, and U.S. diplomatic around the world. These partnerships would seek to promote U.S. business values of high quality standards, transparency, and agility in adapting to foreign markets’ unique demands:
“American companies are the most innovative in the world and bring with them high standards and best practices wherever they go. Developing countries want American business, but in most markets China and others are winning with state-backed inducements and economic coercion. The enactment of the BUILD Act last year was an important first step to offer countries an attractive alternative to Beijing’s predatory lending practices. Among other improvements, U.S. businesses now have important financial tools to help them invest overseas, but more can be done. The bipartisan Championing American Business Through Diplomacy Act will bolster U.S. economic and commercial diplomacy, help facilitate greater market access for our companies in emerging markets, and rededicate the Foreign Service to one of its founding missions: to support U.S. business.”
In an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rep. McCaul adds that this bill would get U.S. diplomats “to put more pressure and to advance American interest in Africa and other countries and continents, so that we can be competitive with China in this respect.” He contends that this is needed because right now, China is “winning” in global business competitiveness.
Rep. McCaul acknowledges that the BUILD Act of 2018 (H.R. 5105/S. 2463), which became law in October 2018 as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 302), was “an important first step to offer countries an attractive alternative” to China’s corrupt practices,” but contends that more is needed to help U.S. companies compete globally.
This bill has five bipartisan cosponsors, including three Democrats and two Republicans, in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, this bill had one cosponsor, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), and didn’t see committee action.
Summary by Lorelei Yang
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Tryaging)