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Case, Kim Advance Bipartisan Measure To Assist Countries Facing Economic Coercion From China And Russia

The bill would direct targeted response teams to counter coercive tactics aimed at crippling economies of countries who do not comply with the nations’ demands

 (Washington, DC ) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) and Congresswoman Young Kim (CA-40) have introduced a measure to assist partner countries to combat economic coercion by other countries including in particular China and Russia. The measure comes after both countries have stepped up such tactics against several governments to achieve their policy aims.

“It is clear that the Chinese Communist Party and Russia have increasingly exerted or threatened economic pressure on governments to force them to accept its national interests,” said Case.

“A classic example is the case of Australia, where China levied punitive tariffs on Australian wine and restricted imports of Australian beef and coal after Australia raised security concerns about the actions of Huawei, a Chinese-owned global provider of information and communications technology. And Russia of course is leveraging its fuel and other exports to leverage countries to accede to its invasion of Ukraine. While Australia and Europe are weathering those tactics, smaller countries have been far more seriously affected by such coercion or even its threat.”

“We cannot allow adversaries like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to take advantage of our freedom-loving allies. The United States and like-minded partners need to be able to step in to help countries suffering from the consequences of the CCP’s malign influence,” said House Foreign Affairs Indo-Pacific Subcommittee Chairwoman Young Kim. 

“That’s why I am proud to join Rep. Ed Case to lead the Economic Defense Response Teams Act to ensure we can deploy smart, responsible economic assistance and support countries subject to our adversaries’ coercive schemes.”  

Case and Kim said the bill would create a pilot program of targeted economic defense response teams to provide emergency technical assistance and support to countries subjected to the threat or use of coercive economic tactics.

This emergency assistance would include minimizing the damage caused by the coercive economic tactics, assisting in dealing with foreign investment in infrastructure that could undermine the target country’s sovereignty, and helping combat efforts by an adversary to employ economic coercion by undermining the partner country’s cybersecurity or digital security.

“China in particular has used economic coercion as a cudgel to prevent smaller nations from challenging its attempts to undermine the international rules-based order. This bill will help rebalance the scales by assisting our partners to push back against China’s use of coercive economic tactics,” said Case and Kim, two of the six co-Chairs of the Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus.

Attachment: copy of the bill on Economic Defense Response Teams