WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Economic Committee, today introduced the Championing American Businesses Through Diplomacy Act of 2018. This bill prioritizes economic and commercial diplomacy at the Department of State and U.S. missions throughout the world, allowing U.S. businesses better access to markets abroad.
Congressman McCaul: “With the emergence of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and their coercive lending practices, we must make it easier for our businesses to have access to foreign markets. The enactment of the BUILD Act earlier this year was an important first step in leveraging the weight of the federal government behind this problem, but more can be done. Our diplomatic personnel on the ground in these countries and have unique insights on their political and economic complexities. We must do more to use this information to help the private-sector do business abroad and support U.S. foreign policy in upholding global stability.”
Congressman Schweikert: “I am very pleased to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation which helps to ensure American businesses succeed abroad. While diplomatic relationships change over time, we must support U.S. businesses in areas that otherwise would not be prioritized.”
The Championing American Businesses Through Diplomacy Act of 2018 would make the following changes to support economic and commercial diplomacy:
- Authorizes in statute the Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, setting in statute their responsibilities to promote and support U.S. economic and commercial diplomacy;
- Streamlines and combines two commercial diplomacy guides – the Investment Climate Statement and the Country Commercial Guide, respectfully produced by the Department of State and Department of Commerce – into one annual guide for each country focused on critical information that businesses rely upon when assessing whether to do business in a particular country;
- Requires Ambassadors and their Embassies to submit a report to the Department of State of the specific actions they took in the year prior of how they are aided businesses achieve market access, while assessing levels of private-sector commercial competition from other strategic competitor nation-states;
- Requires the Secretary to report to Congress general commercial diplomacy trends, as well as assessments of commercial activity in strategic areas from competing nation-states that threatens U.S. national security; and
- Places further emphasis on training our diplomats on matters of commercial diplomacy.
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