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House Speaker Eyes Passing China Package in 2024

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said July 8 that he hopes to have a "significant package of China-related legislation" signed into law this year, including measures to "punish" Chinese military firms that provide material support to Russia and Iran.

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The legislation might also include restrictions on outbound investment to China, Johnson told the Hudson Institute. It would also "rein in the de minimis privilege" that allows China to ship low-priced goods to the U.S. without paying tariffs.

With China posing "the greatest threat to global peace, Congress must keep our focus on countering China with every tool at our disposal," Johnson said. "We’ll work aggressively toward that package. I’m very hopeful that much of this can be bipartisan.”

Johnson also said he wants the House Select Committee on China, which was created in January 2023 (see 2301100079), to continue its efforts next year when the new Congress convenes. He praised the committee's work, including its advocacy of a new law that will ban TikTok in the U.S. if China’s ByteDance does not sell the popular social media application (see 2403050063 and 2405070049).

Johnson didn't say how upcoming legislation against Chinese firms would compare with steps the Biden administration has taken against China. The administration last month unveiled sanctions against seven Chinese companies that provide dual-use goods to Russia's war machine (see 2406120036).

Johnson also didn't reveal how he might reach a compromise on outbound investment. Some lawmakers favor imposing restrictions on individual entities, while others would rather target whole technology sectors (see 2401180067).

The Senate is also working to craft major China legislation. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said last month that he is making progress in putting together a China bill (see 2406130071).