Brady and Lucas are cautiously optimistic that an agreement can be reached on a plan to strengthen the nation’s foreign competitiveness.
WASHINGTON, DC – As the House and Senate try to reach agreement on legislation that will strengthen America’s ability to innovate and compete with China around the world, the Ripon Society held a breakfast meeting Thursday morning with two leading Republican leaders. The negotiation to get their opinion on the status of the bill and the possibility of reaching an agreement this year.
Leading the way was Kevin Brady representing the 8.ThRepresents the Texas district in the House and ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee and Frank Lucas, 3rdDistrict of Oklahoma and serves as the ranking member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The pair are part of a group of more than 100 lawmakers working to reconcile the gap between the Creating Opportunities, Preeminence in Technology and Economic Strength Act through the Senate-passed United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) and passed by the US House. (Competitors).
“I can’t give you the details of what we’re going to see when the language comes to the floor,” Lucas said to open the discussion. But I will tell you this – fundamental investment in the capacity to produce chips, microprocessors and the resources we need in this country is essential. Many of my Republican colleagues get very juicy about the national defense angle. That is absolutely correct. I was at a presentation where they described the number of processors that go into the most basic and basic weapons systems we use. It’s incredible what it takes for them to do those things. And apparently, by popular media reports, the Russians are finding that they are very effective. But you have to have the parts to do those jobs.
These units, Lucas added, are not only critical to national security and the military. They are vital to the country’s economy and the people it represents.
“I’m an ‘Aggie,'” the Oklahoma lawmaker said. “I’m from the ag district – oil and gas. I can tell you that it’s not just about not being able to buy automobiles, farm trucks, cars, and trucks based on these critical resource constraints. But you can’t buy a tractor either. They are full of processors. You can’t buy anything. So the demand is there. How do we get to that point? Our friends in the Senate – I’ll use the term we used in the state legislature – ‘shocked the bill’ and are theoretically building a bill to bring it back to us in the United States House. Basically, things from the Assembly Committee and the Committee work, but in separate legislation.
If they succeed in doing so — and the overwhelming number of senators’ votes this week to begin the process is an indication that they have momentum ahead — I believe they are the safeguards we’ve talked about to protect the taxpayers’ investments. It will be there. I believe, until this time, the language regarding funding by the National Science Foundation and NIST and DOE will be there. I believe there are many, many great things, and — if my understanding is correct — enough good things to build majorities in both the House and the Senate.
But I have to tell you as a ranking member – I’m waiting for the magic paper to be presented on the floor in the United States Senate. I am awaiting the electronic transmission of the list so that we can confirm.”
Brady was also cautiously optimistic, and listed several areas where he believed common ground could and should be found.
“You start every conference committee with what is your measure of success,” he said of the negotiations. “And for us, the Committee on Ways and Means, our measure is — does this challenge China’s economic aggression around the world? Will the hunter face their business practices? If he does that, we will support the bill. If not, we need to rethink, refocus, and refocus.
“Especially in the areas that I think are common interests in trade, it seems to me, involves the differential tariff bill. It’s long overdue, needs to be done, and is vital to competition among manufacturers here in America. It has always been a bipartisan effort before. We should not have let the time run out. We have to do this.
“You know, GSP [the Generalized System of Preferences] Of course, helping poor countries sell to the US is mostly a one-way street, but it’s a good one-way sale to the United States. It is still important to help lift these countries out of poverty, and hopefully eventually lead to bilateral trade. We think this is very important and should be done yesterday.
“Another thing that I think should be discussed collectively is a smart, up-to-date, modern 301 exclusion process. No company in America – big or small – should have to lose employees or customers or market share just because they can’t get that resource, that item, that material, that ingredient, to compete and win here. Home and around the world. I know that’s a bone of contention. Ambassador Lighthizer feels strongly about the 301 exclusion process, and so do I. And I think it’s very important that we have.
It doesn’t have to be exactly a Senate provision, but we need a timely process. Obviously it works. Our economy has changed dramatically in the last two years. To his credit, President Trump has gotten a lot of encouragement from Congress, including our committees, to create the 301 exclusionary process. Keep updating it and fine tune it. That’s exactly what we need to have – a 301 exclusion process that’s up-to-date, up-to-date and calibrated to those exclusions.
According to Brady, building common ground on these and other issues will help not only Americans here at home, but Americans who want to compete and do business abroad.
“America must lead on trade,” the veteran lawmaker said. “Buying American is not enough. You also have to sell American – all over the world. We need to throw down those barriers and those ‘Americans don’t have to apply signs around the world’ and get that level playing field for ag and everything.
To view Brady and Lucas’ comments before the Ripon Society’s breakfast meeting last Thursday morning, please click on the link below:
The Ripon Society A public policy organization founded in 1962, it takes its name from Ripon, Wisconsin, the birthplace of the Republican Party in 1854. The main objectives of the Ripon Society are to promote the ideals and principles that have made America great and contributed to the success of the GOP. These ideals include keeping our nation safe, keeping taxes low, and keeping the federal government smaller, smarter, and more accountable to the public.