Corporate America fights uphill battle against anti-China push
By GAVIN BADE
01 September 2021
Groups representing hundreds of the biggest U.S. companies, from Amazon to JPMorgan Chase and Nike, have so far gotten lawmakers to kill legislation that would mandate government reviews for American investments in China, weaken anti-Beijing rhetoric in an evolving House legislative package, and insert corporate-friendly provisions to an anti-forced labor bill that would reshape how the federal government implements trade restrictions.
But none of those bills have been finalized, and big business groups are worried that they won’t be able to rely on their traditional allies once the fall legislative session begins.
“It feels like the business community doesn’t have any true blue friends on the Hill at this point when it comes to China,” said one industry lobbyist who asked not to be named due to ongoing work with Congress. “Everything is a matter of degree.”
Republicans have either cheered Biden’s tough line on China or pushed him to go further. That’s got some lobbyists turning to the only folks left in the room: progressives.
In recent months, the U.S.-China Business Council, which represents more than 250 American firms that do business in China, has reached out to aides for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and anti-war groups like Justice is Global, one of scores of groups that endorsed letters urging Congress to pump the brakes on anti-China provisions and prioritize climate change cooperation with Beijing.