Rumor has it that the US Senate will be abandoning months of work on legislation overhauling US policy toward China, as it’s expected to approve a drastically slimmed-down version of the bill.
The resulting legislation aims to address the nationwide microchip shortage. Among the items dropped from the bill is the INFORM Consumers Act, which would require e-commerce platforms to verify the identities of third-party sellers, hopefully helping in the fight against organized retail crime and counterfeiting.
“Ensuring that we remain competitive against China—a looming threat to American innovation and economic prosperity—is a responsibility that Congress cannot take lightly,” said Michael Hanson, Buy Safe America Coalition spokesperson. “The Buy Safe America Coalition is disappointed to learn that the broader economic competitiveness package will no longer include the INFORM Consumers Act, a common sense remedy to the online sale of stolen and counterfeit products. We remain committed to working with lawmakers to get this important piece of legislation passed and signed into law as soon as possible in order to safeguard millions of American workers, businesses, and consumers.”
According to Politico, a frantic push by the Biden administration led lawmakers to suspend negotiations on a more comprehensive China competition bill, instead pursuing the chips funding as well as a few other non-controversial provisions.
“We worked very hard to get a bill out of the Senate,” Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said in an interview. “We got overwhelming votes for it, and then when we got to the House, we hit a brick wall. It’s a shame, because now it’s a chips bill, not a China bill.”