The US Congress opposes a massive Chinese competition law with votes on Iran, energy
The US Congress opposes a massive Chinese competition law with votes on Iran, energy

The US Congress opposes a massive Chinese competition law with votes on Iran, energy

Chinese and American flags flutter near The Bund before US trade delegation meets Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China on July 30, 2019. REUTERS / Aly Song / File Photo

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WASHINGTON, May 4 (Reuters) – The US Congress on Wednesday approached the completion of a long-standing bill authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars to increase the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology, with Senate votes on proposals dealing with issues including energy policy and Iran sanctions.

Although the proposals are not binding, they convey a sense of what senators would like to see in the final bill and what might prevent it from getting enough votes to become law.

In one of the expected 28 votes, the Senate voted 86-12 – with strong bipartisan support – for a “motion to instruct” sponsored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who is seeking a report on terror-related sanctions against Iran and says such sanctions are needed to limit cooperation between China and Iran.

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If enacted, the provision could complicate delicate negotiations on the international Iran nuclear deal, though Western officials have largely lost hope that the pact can re-emerge, four years after former Republican President Donald Trump abandoned it in 2018. Read more

Another, from Republican Senator John Barrasso, related to federal oil and gas leasing, passed 53-44.

Congress has been working on China’s competition law for more than a year. The Senate first adopted a version in June 2021 with strong bipartisan support. The $ 250 billion bill was hailed as potentially the most significant government intervention in production for decades, but stalled in the House of Representatives. Read more

The House did not pass its version, the “America COMPETES Act of 2022,” until February 2022. All but one Republican in the House voted no. Read more

The COMPETES Act allows nearly $ 300 billion for research and development, including $ 52 billion to subsidize semiconductor manufacturing and research.

House and Senate lawmakers will begin their conference on a final COMPETITION law following Senate votes on all 28 proposals for instruction.

Congress supporters expected it would take months to agree on a compromise proposal.

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, additional reporting by David Shepardson; editing by David Gregorio

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