Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Blasts Democrats’ Failure to Confront China in Latest Washington Examiner Op-Ed

May 18, 2022
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner detailing Congressional Democrats’ repeated failure to confront the growing economic threat from Communist China.  

“Winning a war of economic competition with China is critical for our future. Tomorrow’s opportunities hinge on the decisions we make today,” said Buchanan in the op-ed. “Pelosi’s partisan gambit and old-school liberal policies may please Democratic donors and score political points with her base, but they will hobble this country in the race against Chinese economic aggression.”

You can read the full op-ed here or below.

 

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Democrats are missing the opportunity to win against China 

By Rep. Vern Buchanan

Congress this month begins the complicated process of finalizing legislation aimed at helping America confront the growing economic threat from Communist China . I will serve as one of the House “conferees” to work on resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of this effort and producing a single product that can be sent to the president for his signature and become law — but there’s reason to be skeptical we will get that far.

Few issues are as critical to our competitive standing in the world as addressing the emerging challenges we face from the Asian giant. Yet, partisan agendas and bad ideas threaten to leave us with a feckless response to China’s clear plans to dominate the global economy. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have already demonstrated more interest in subsidizing Big Labor and green energy special interests than winning the economic war against China.

Even though the Senate version of this legislation passed with a healthy 68-32 bipartisan vote, Pelosi crafted a House alternative with no input from the Republicans. And the results demonstrated that. The House passed its version on Feb. 4 with a near party-line vote (222-210).

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy noted that Pelosi and House Democrats responded to the growing threat of China “by proposing a toothless bill that does more to appease their corporate allies than it does to strengthen America’s security.” It’s actually worse — Pelosi’s provisions that assist labor unions and give away massive green energy subsidies will only drive up costs, add to inflation, and help Chinese manufacturing.

There’s a better way.

First, let’s incentivize more manufacturing and job creation in the United States. My colleague Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) has introduced important legislation that would produce more American-made medicines and advanced manufacturing in the U.S., critical first steps to competing with China.

Second, we need to give startup companies a leg-up here at home. Earlier this year, I introduced the American Innovation Act to remove some of the initial barriers to creating a business, putting money back in the pockets of our country’s best job creators, and setting startups on a path toward success. In an environment where American businesses face runaway inflation and a volatile job market, Congress needs to focus on making it easier for businesses to do what they do best — creating jobs, innovating, and investing capital back into our communities.

Speaking of innovation, we need to make the U.S. the world’s innovation capital. The most recent Bloomberg Innovation Index finds the U.S. dropped out of the top 10 countries in terms of world-leading innovation economies. It’s no surprise, given that the U.S. has fallen behind our global competitors that offer more generous research and development incentives. If our competitors are refueling their economic engines, we must do the same. It’s time for America to step on the innovation gas pedal.

For example, we need to let companies fully expense (write off) R&D costs in the year they are realized. We should also provide a tax break to any company that brings its R&D back to the U.S. We should double the current R&D tax credit to add even more muscle to America’s innovation punch.

China has focused its economic weaponry and brainpower on a broad swath of industries that will dominate the future in terms of jobs and opportunities. They include artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics, semiconductors, and supercomputing — all industries that require a heavy dose of research and advanced science. If we are to compete, we need the wide-ranging tax incentives outlined above.

Winning a war of economic competition with China is critical for our future. Tomorrow’s opportunities hinge on the decisions we make today. Pelosi’s partisan gambit and old-school liberal policies may please Democratic donors and score political points with her base, but they will hobble this country in the race against Chinese economic aggression. We can win this race — but only if we choose a path of innovation rather than a path of partisanship.

Vern Buchanan represents Florida’s 16th District in the House of Representatives and is the co-chairman of the bipartisan Florida delegation. Buchanan is second in seniority on the Ways and Means Committee, where he serves as the lead Republican of the Health Subcommittee.