Washington, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Members Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Carol Miller (R-WV) today introduced the U.S. Trade Leadership in the Indo-Pacific and China Act.

The bill would provide a blueprint for Congress and the Administration to advance U.S. trade leadership in the Indo-Pacific region and with China through the encouragement of swift passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and directing the Administration to make efforts to lead and modernize key trade agreements in the region. The bill also directs the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to articulate a long-term trade plan with China as the initial Phase One Agreement comes to a close.

“The United States must be a leader on trade in the Indo-Pacific as China seeks to exert influence in the region and throughout the globe,” said Congressman LaHood. “The U.S. Trade Leadership in the Indo-Pacific and China Act utilizes 21st-century trade tools to strengthen our global competitiveness and ensure the world follows America’s lead, not China’s. I am proud to join my friend and Ways and Means colleague Congresswoman Carol Miller to introduce this legislation which will compel the Biden Administration to act to renew Trade Promotion Authority and outline a long-term economic strategy and report to Congress on further United States engagement with China.”

“I’m pleased to work with Congressman LaHood in introducing this important trade legislation,” said Congresswoman Miller. “Our bill compels the Biden administration to accelerate U.S. economic leadership in the critical Indo-Pacific region and to swiftly articulate a comprehensive trade strategy with China. This is necessary to provide clarity regarding America’s presence in the region, as well as a clear-eyed economic plan for the U.S and China—a consequential bilateral relationship that needs careful consideration and vigilance.”

Title I:

  • Addresses a Sense of Congress for U.S. trade leadership in the Indo-Pacific.
  • States that the United States should play a sustained role in establishing an open, rules-based trading system in the Indo-Pacific by improving and joining an existing plurilateral trade agreement, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), updating existing regional trade agreements, or negotiating new, high-standard trade agreements.
  • Calls to swiftly reauthorize the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and directs the President to compel all key Federal agencies to meet upon request with any Member of Congress regarding the Executive Branch’s anticipated or on-going negotiations, as well as to share documents relating to those negotiations, including classified materials, on its evolving Indo-Pacific trade strategy.

Title II:

  • States that as Phase One comes to a close, the United States must ensure that China honors every substantive obligation it undertook in that deal. Further, the United States must have clear and long-term strategy for maintaining a balanced trading relationship between our two nations that serves U.S. economic and national security interests.
    • On January 15, 2020, the United States and the People’s Republic of China signed the Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, otherwise known as the “Phase One” agreement. This agreement was a critical first step to balance the trading relationship between the United States and China.
  • States that USTR should follow TPA consultation requirements regarding any further trade negotiations with China.
  • Requires USTR to submit a report to Congress that articulates and identifies (1) a long-term trade and economic plan with China that details our progress in combating China’s coercive economic practices; (2) a comprehensive assessment of the current Section 301 tariffs in place against China and their efficacy in combating Chinese forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft; (3) a complete scorecard of China’s compliance with its Phase One commitments; (4) a listing of new enforcement tools that will require China to make further structural reforms; (5) new market access objectives with respect to China; and (6) key sectors in which increased U.S. exports would be mutually beneficial for the United States and China.