May 19,2021

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (202) 224-4515

Wyden, Schumer Announce Amendment to Combat Trade Cheating

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., today announced an amendment to the Endless Frontier Act that would fight back against trade cheating by China and other rival nations. The Combating Oppressive and Manipulative Policies that Endanger Trade and Economic Security (COMPETES) Act of 2021 will level the playing field for American workers, farmers, fishers and families by taking aim at China’s worst practices. The proposal is intended to be part of a Senate-wide effort to assure that the United States is positioned to out-compete China in the economy of the future.

“The COMPETES Act strikes right at the heart of China’s anti-competitive and morally abhorrent labor, environmental and digital practices. The U.S. government needs to slam the door on products produced with these unfair practices,” Senator Wyden said. “This amendment reflects both the clear strategic challenge posed by China, and our collective faith that if the playing field is level American workers will out-compete and out-innovate China.”

“For years, the Chinese Communist Party has gone to extraordinary lengths to steal American intellectual property and cheat their way to innovating and economic growth,” Majority Leader Schumer said. “The COMPETES Act will take aim at these anti-competitive, predatory practices and will help level the playing field for American workers. This addition to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act will boost America’s ability to compete, innovate, and win the 21st Century.”

Key elements of the COMPETES Act include provisions that:

  • Bolster efforts to prohibit goods made with forced labor, including from the Xinjiang region of China, from reaching the United States by strengthening Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforcement efforts, and directing CBP to better utilize data on seafood imports.
  • Provide modernized trade enforcement tools to USTR to address anti-competitive digital trade and censorship practices like China’s Great Firewall, including by requiring USTR to identify trading partners that disrupt digital trade; allow for the investigation of unreasonable digital trade measures that are detrimental to U.S. persons; and provide for a review of discriminatory digital trade proposals.
  • Require increased inspection by CBP of goods from countries identified to be significant sources of counterfeit goods, and provide for the sharing of information with regard to intellectual property violations with additional interested parties so as to allow for better enforcement.
  • Strengthen oversight, accountability and transparency over U.S. trade policy by requiring additional reporting by USTR on certain activities related to China, as well as efforts by China to circumvent existing obligations, and providing CBP flexibility to cross-train trade specialists.

The full text of the legislation is available here.