US senators push bill to counter economic coercion of allies, partners

WASHINGTON [US], Feb 12: A pair of US Senators Chris Coons and Todd Young reintroduced a bill that can be used as a new tool for reducing the impact of economic coercion and will save the security interests from foreign threats, according to a statement released on Chris Coons website.
The US Senators also stated that their bill would allow President Joe Biden to offer rapid economic support to foreign partners targeted by economic coercion and to punish perpetrators of economic coercion by strengthening trade and commerce ties with smaller economies that appear to be targeted by Beijing’s coercive trading practices. “Countries like China and Russia are increasingly abusing their economic power to bully smaller countries and punish sovereign political decisions,” said Senator Coons. “This economic coercion hurts these nations, threatens US economic security, and undermines the democratic, rules-based international system that has underpinned decades of global growth. I’m proud to work with Senator Young to provide rapid, targeted support to US allies and partners to help them stand up to economic coercion and safeguard American interests,” he added.
Senator Young, without giving names, stated that some foreign adversaries think they can drive a wedge between the US allies and partners by using economic intimidation or by harming economies through opaque, informal actions. “These threats and grabs for power cannot go unchecked,” he said.
“Our bipartisan bill will provide the flexibility to help our foreign partners on an expedited basis when they are targeted for standing up to authoritarian regimes. By supporting our partners under threat, we protect America’s own national security interests,” he added.
The Countering Economic Coercion Act of 2023 would provide President Biden with specific tools to decrease duties on non-import-sensitive goods imported by the US from the foreign partner to make up for lost exports to other nations due to coercive actions and even can increase duties on imports from foreign adversaries committing economic coercion.
The bill also allows expediting export licensing decisions and regulatory processes to facilitate trade with affected foreign partners according to the statement.
In determining whether economic coercion is taking place and how to support the targeted country, the President would be required to consult with Congress. In order to facilitate rapid and nimble relief, the Secretary of State would be permitted to take certain actions on an expedited basis. Any determination of economic coercion – and any authority exercised under a determination – would sunset after two years, or upon a joint resolution of Congress. (ANI)