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 BrownFacebook's new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics Facebook's new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics Hillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries 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 GrahamSecond ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Meghan McCain clashes with Joy Behar as the 'sacrificial Republican' on 'The View' MORE (R-S.C.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa Overnight Health Care: Biden infuriates abortion-rights groups with stance on Hyde Amendment | Trump tightens restrictions on fetal tissue research | Democrats plan event to scrutinize Trump's mental health MORE (D-Pa.).