During a Monday press conference at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11th District, announced the American Jobs and Competition Plan — a legislative package aimed at strengthening economic and national security amid increased competition and aggression from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
This marks the next phase of Sherill’s work on the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and CCP, which was created at the beginning of the 118th Congress and reported on by NJBIZ back in May. As part of that work, Sherrill introduced the first pillar of this plan Sept. 18, the Leading Global Innovation Resolution: A call to action to the public, private and nonprofit sectors on the CCP’s “Made in China 2025” plan.
Sherill says she plans to introduce more legislation as part of the plan in the coming months to:
- Address security challenges posed by CCP-affiliated technology;
- Combat the CCP’s unfair trade practices
- Boost the role of the Department of Commerce, and
- Strengthen America’s partnerships and alliances.
“For too long, policymakers haven’t given the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘Made in China 2025’ plan the attention or urgency it deserves – and that ends today. We must act swiftly to counter the CCP’s escalating economic aggression and attempts to dominate the technology of the future that is so critical to our economic and national security,” said Sherrill. “I’ve heard from too many New Jersey businesses that have been targets of the CCP’s unfair and illegal trade practices – hurting their ability to grow and create jobs here at home.
“Building on my efforts to pass the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, this resolution is a bipartisan call to action for the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to work together to ensure that the U.S. is competitive for the future, and to win this era of strategic competition with the CCP,” Sherrill said.
The resolution, which calls for addressing the issue with a whole of government and private sector approach, details China’s plan and its intentions to dominate future technologies, like semiconductors, AI, and quantum computing, while also outlining examples of the CCP’s unfair trade practices, economic espionage and other malign activities against American businesses.
“I think a key piece of what we are doing is ensuring that – as we reshore American manufacturing, we’re really investing in American workers,” said Sherrill. “It’s fitting to be here at Thomas Edison State University – named after America’s most prolific inventor, who spent much of his life and career, of course, in New Jersey. Since our country’s founding, New Jersey has been a manufacturing and innovation powerhouse.”
Sherrill said the goal of these efforts is pretty simple, especially in this era of global competition.
“We can’t stand idly by as New Jersey makes and the CCP takes,” said Sherrill. “I’m introducing this resolution as part of my new assignment on the House Sub Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. A very long title for a very clear goal. We want to make sure that we have a fair playing field. American companies, American innovation, American workers can compete with anyone – if it is fair competition.”
“I’m proud to support this bipartisan resolution to call out the CCP’s track record of malign economic practices that undermine U.S. national security, destroy American jobs, and weaken our industrial base,” said Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-WI-8th District, and resolution cosponsor.
The press conference featured a number of notable business and industry leaders, lawmakers, and other stakeholders, who applauded the efforts to push back against the CCP aggression.
“The U.S. – and New Jersey has been the leader in global innovation for decades and this is now in serious jeopardy due to foreign entities that seek to surpass and supplant us by using unfair and dubious business practices. Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a bi-partisan approach to ensure that our companies, industries, and intellectual properties are protected as best they can – and that millions of American jobs are not threatened due to the actions of those that do not seek to compete on a level and fair playing field,” said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “Failure is not an option because the future of our long-term standing as the preeminent global economic power is at stake. We applaud Rep. Mikie Sherrill for realizing the seriousness and immediacy of this situation by introducing the Leading Global Innovation Resolution.”
“As the voice for manufacturing in New Jersey and as National Association of Manufacturers board member, I know that manufacturers have long called upon Congress to take a new approach to U.S.-China relations, holding China accountable for the commitments it has made to the U.S. and the world,” said Michele Siekerka, New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) president and CEO. “The Global Innovation Resolution spearheaded by Congresswoman Sherrill will bring much needed protection from and oversight of China’s continuing efforts to dominate innovation in the global market. While global competition can always be expected within science and technological advancements, we must also guard against intellectual property theft, cyber espionage and the discriminatory treatment of foreign investments to protect U.S. innovation and to advance it forward.”
The resolution also received support from organizations such as the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, IBEW Local 102, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, New Jersey Veterans Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Council of County Colleges, and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program.
NJMEP Chief Executive Officer Peter Connolly said that the resolution is exactly what the industry nationwide – and especially here in New Jersey – needs.
“We’ve been working for decades to ensure manufacturing has a voice, and that New Jersey is poised to support its ‘MADE in NJ’ Manufacturers so they can compete with China,” said Connolly. “This focused effort of explaining to Members of Congress the critical importance of domestic manufacturing and allowing them to rediscover the industrial strength we have in the country gives us so much hope for a vibrant future for the United States.”