A group of influential Senators have introduced a legislation in the US Congress to stop using Chinese products with tax payer's money as Beijing does not give access to American companies in $500 billion Chinese government procurement market.
"When China fails to play the rules, US tax dollars should not be used to buy Chinese-made products," said Senator Sherrod Brown in a statement after a bi-partisan legislation in the Senate was introduced by four of his other colleagues Debbie Stabenow, Lindsey Graham, Russ Feingold and Bob Casey.
The legislation would prevent Federal taxpayer dollars from buying Chinese products and services until the Chinese government plays by the rules, the Senators said.
Right now, American businesses are not allowed to access the roughly $500 billion Chinese government procurement market while the US government continues to purchase Chinese tires, ammunition, office equipment, and even US Mint coins, they said.
The Senators said despite being a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for ten years, China prevents American and other foreign companies from bidding on Chinese government contracts through an "indigenous innovation" programme.
Unfortunately, the US cannot successfully challenge this programme at the World Trade Organization (WTO) until the Chinese government agrees to sign onto the Agreement of Governmental Procurement.
"By signing this agreement, China will be forced to end its discriminatory program, and allow American companies to bid on Chinese government contracts," they said.
"This legislation will plug loopholes in Buy American laws, which allow for the US government to buy Chinese goods," they said.
It also requires the US Department of Commerce to report on how China's policies are harmful to US economy and requires the Department of Energy to monitor how China is developing its renewable energy sector, which impacts American manufacturers.
Brown, who is the Chair of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy and a vocal advocate for trade deficit reduction is the author of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act, which would require a review of existing trade agreements, provide an opportunity to renegotiate existing trade agreements, and outline principles of what should be included in future trade agreements.
The legislation also calls for the role of Congress in trade policymaking to be strengthened.