U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is applauding the new Senate initiative to take on China and protect U.S. national security. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced yesterday that the Senate will undertake a bill to strengthen America’s global leadership and outlined key priorities, including a bipartisan Casey provision to screen U.S. investments being made in countries of concern, including China. Casey introduced the bipartisan, bicameral National Critical Capabilities Defense Act in 2021 to protect American workers and manufacturing and strengthen our national security.
“The Chinese government has shown it is not afraid to use its economic power to bully other nations,” said Senator Casey. “I commend this new effort to take this threat seriously, including my plan to stop the Chinese Communist Party from obtaining American technology and capabilities from U.S. companies. Not only it is important for our security, it’s good for American workers when we manufacture here at home.”
As the lead sponsor of the National Critical Capabilities Defense Act, Senator Casey has been pushing for action so the U.S. can better understand the risks of allowing foreign competitors to gain access to critical capabilities and technology, as well as to design and manufacture goods that are vital to U.S economic and national security interests. Casey’s legislation, first introduced in 2021, has bipartisan and bicameral support. Biden Administration officials, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and National Security Council Advisor Jake Sullivan have also expressed support for increased scrutiny of outbound investment.
In September 2022, the bipartisan, bicameral coalition supporting Senator Casey’s bill urged President Biden to take executive action to prevent the U.S. from ceding our manufacturing power and technological know-how to foreign adversaries. Days later, Casey testified in support of the National Critical Capabilities Defense Act in front of the Senate Banking Committee, stressing the importance of assessing potential risks of American investments in adversarial countries.
In December 2022, the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill appropriated approximately $20 million in funding for the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Treasury to establish an outbound investment screening program by Executive Order, as Casey has pushed for the Administration to do. In March 2023, Casey wrote an op-ed outlining how to protect American innovation and keep American national and economic interests out of adversaries’ hands.
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