Jun 27, 2018

Rubio steps up campaign against China

Erica Pandey, author of @Work

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio will introduce a bill Wednesday that would bar Chinese-owned companies from qualifying for small business assistance.

The big picture: It's another move in Rubio's campaign to curb Chinese influence. He's recently sounded the alarm on issues ranging from intellectual property theft to human rights violations.

Timing: The bill comes as the Trump administration is reportedly gearing up to limit Chinese companies' ability to invest in U.S. tech companies.

The details:

  • The bill includes businesses that are headquartered in China, are owned by Chinese entities, or have at least 25% of their voting stock owned by Chinese investors.
  • Under current law, any small business that legally operates in the U.S. could qualify for grants or loans under small business assistance.
  • Why it matters: The bill would ensure that money intended to stimulate the growth of American businesses does not go to Chinese-owned firms.

One more thing: Rubio is also adding language to multiple appropriations bills that would ban federal agencies from buying products from ZTE — a Chinese telecom giant that has repeatedly violated U.S. sanctions and has been labeled a national security threat by the Pentagon.

The backdrop: Rubio has been a vocal opponent of President Trump's deal to save ZTE from a Commerce Department ban, which stopped American companies from selling parts to it. He supported the Senate's vote to reinstate the ban.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.