Washington Update

December 18th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

Commerce blacklists SMIC and dozens of Chinese firms for ties to military 

This morning, the Department of Commerce added 77 companies to the Entity List, the majority of which are Chinese. According to Commerce, the Chinese firms were blacklisted due to their involvement in China’s military-civil fusion initiative; support for military programs, including actions in the South China Sea; IP theft; and human rights abuses. The new listings include China’s leading semiconductor...

December 11th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

President-elect Joe Biden announced several of his cabinet nominations this week. Notably, Biden will nominate Katherine Tai as United States Trade Representative, who, if confirmed, is likely to remain focused on China trade enforcement. Tai has previously served as USTR’s general counsel responsible for the development and litigation of disputes against China at the World Trade Organization. Currently the Chief Trade Counsel for House Ways and Means Democrats, Tai is widely respected among...

December 4th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

With the presidential transition process in full swing, the Trump administration ramped up pressure on China and Chinese companies this week—including actions which some consider unprecedented moves to impede the Biden administration’s early engagement with Beijing. 

Yesterday alone, the Pentagon expanded the list of companies deemed to support China’s military, Customs and Border Protection blocked cotton imports from a significant producer in Xinjiang due to forced labor concerns,...

November 25th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

The rollout of actions targeting China continued this week. On Tuesday, the Department of Commerce announced the first anti-subsidy duties on certain Chinese imports due to currency undervaluation, potentially opening the door for many more cases. The administration is also reportedly preparing an update to ‘Military End User’ export controls that it expanded back in April, which includes a list of dozens of Chinese entities with military ties. While the scope and timing of the rule are...

November 20th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

USCBC understands that the Trump administration is still considering a variety of executive actions targeting China before leaving office, including entity listings of Chinese companies, more restrictions related to Xinjiang forced labor, and increased engagement in the Asia Pacific region. During a Tuesday press briefing, a senior State Department official discussed concerns around illegal Chinese fishing in the South China Sea, and the department today kicked off a new bilateral forum with...

November 13th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

This week, President-elect Joe Biden moved forward with the transfer of power, assembling a transition team to identify people for key cabinet posts. However, President Trump and key officials in his administration have refused to formally concede. Trump dug his heels in even further this week, taking executive actions targeting China that may further challenge the incoming Biden team’s relationship with China, and reflect a final push to accomplish his agenda before he leaves office in 10...

November 6th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

Election results slowly coming into focus

The presidential and congressional elections continue to stretch on without definitive results. While there were very few developments on the China front this week, there will be potentially significant implications for US policy on China and trade once the dust settles on this election.  

As it currently stands, former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to win the presidency, but by much smaller margins than polling had projected....

October 30th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

Next week, the United States will elect its next president, recommitting to President Donald Trump for another 4 years or deciding to change course with a new administration under former Vice President Joe Biden. All 435 seats in the House, and a third (33) of those in the Senate are also up for election, in addition to a few special elections to fill vacancies in both chambers. While the House is expected to remain under Democratic control, the results of the closer Senate races could...

October 23rd, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

With the election only two weeks away, a variety of polls favoring former Vice President Joe Biden, and recent revelations of President Donald Trump’s business ties to China, Trump and several of the more hawkish officials in the administration have again stepped up anti-China rhetoric. Much of this can be chalked up to a return to the strategy that won Trump the election in 2016, such as remarks by White House economic advisor Peter Navarro claiming the Chinese government is working to...

October 16th, 2020
By USCBC Government Affairs

State and Treasury move forward with congressionally mandated Hong Kong sanctions

On Wednesday, the Department of State issued a report, mandated by the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (HKAA), identifying foreign individuals that have contributed to the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also updated a list of Hong Kong and Chinese officials on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list subject to asset-blocking sanctions....