Bipartisan bill would stop government from buying Chinese items

A bipartisan bill introduced Friday would prohibit the federal government from buying Chinese products and services until there are changes in trade policy.

"When China fails to play the rules, U.S. tax dollars should not be used to buy Chinese-made products," said bill co-spondor Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBipartisan housing finance reform on the road less taken Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Senate Democrats want answers on 'dangerous' Amazon delivery system MORE (D-Ohio). "American workers and manufacturers can compete with anyone in the world, but they deserve a level playing field."


China must stop manipulating its currency, stop massively subsidizing production and start opening its markets, Brown said in a release. 

"Despite being a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for 10 years, China prevents American and other foreign companies from bidding on Chinese government contracts through an indigenous innovation program," Brown said in a release. 

The U.S. can't challenge the program at the WTO until China agrees sign onto the Agreement of Governmental Procurement, which would allow American companies to bid on Chinese government contracts.

The federal government should withhold its spending on purchases of Chinese tires, ammunition, office equipment and even U.S. Mint coins until American businesses are allowed to access the roughly $500 billion Chinese government procurement market.

This legislation will plug loopholes in Buy American laws, which allow for the U.S. government to buy Chinese goods. It also requires the Commerce Department to report on how China's policies are harmful to our economy and requires the Energy Department to monitor China's developing its renewable energy sector, which impacts American manufacturers.

Along with Brown, chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, the bill's co-sponsors include Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump fires back at Graham over Iran criticism Overnight Defense: GOP wary of action on Iran | Pence says US 'locked and loaded' to defend allies | Iran's leader rules out talks with US Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE (R-S.C.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyEx-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Democrats press Trump Treasury picks on donor disclosure guidelines MORE (D-Pa.).