Wicker, Gonzalez Introduce Bill to Expose China’s Bad Economic Data

May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was today joined by U.S. Representatives Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, Haley Stevens, D-Mich., Colin Allred, D-Texas, Dean Phillips, D-Minn., French Hill, R-Ariz., Michael Waltz, R-Fla., Andy Barr, R-Ky., to introduce the Documenting Adversarial Trade Aggression (DATA) Act. This bill would establish a China Economic Data Coordination Center within the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the Department of Commerce. Serving as a one-stop shop for info on China’s economic health, the Center would work in coordination with federal agencies and the private sector to collect and consolidate data on China’s financial markets.

“China has reported misleading data and obscured systemic problems within its financial system for years, putting American companies engaging in international business at risk,” Wicker said. “By establishing a China Economic Data Coordination Center within the Department of Commerce, this legislation would protect American companies from the CCP’s misinformation by exposing gaps in official data and providing a centralized clearinghouse for everything the U.S. government knows about the economic health of China.”

“At the core of our U.S.-led international system is a fair and free global market. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has proven that they cannot be trusted as they consistently seek to undermine the Free World,” Gonzalez said. “The economic data the CCP continues to circulate is unreliable and manipulated, hurting American investors and everyday business owners alike. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation will ensure the U.S. government and American investors have reliable data that can be used to measure and assess any risks linked to China’s economy.”

“I have long advocated for more economic transparency as China has become one of the world’s largest creditor nations,” said Rep. Hill. “Specifically, borrowing from Beijing through their ‘Belt and Road Initiative” has resulted in opaque and vague lending that allow the Chinese to take advantage of low-income countries. Chinese lending practices and baseline Chinese economic data must be error-free and easily accessible to investors and U.S. entities. The DATA Act is a step in the right direction in holding China accountable by the same high standards used by international financial institutions. I thank my friend, Rep. Gonzalez, for his work on this bill and I am proud to support this important piece of legislation.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated risks in China’s strained financial system. Full transparency is crucial to managing the risks of growing. U.S.-China financial ties,” said Rep. Stevens. “I’m proud to join Rep. Gonzalez in introducing the DATA Act to provide more robust analytical infrastructure to track developments in China’s economy and financial markets and protect U.S. financial and national security interests.”

“America’s economic health relies on our ability to evaluate risks and make strategic decisions based on the available data and it’s no secret that China’s economic data reporting is not transparent. To protect American interests, we must hold China accountable to ensure accurate reporting,” said Rep. Allred. “I’m proud to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, in the House and the Senate, in introducing this legislation that would do just that by creating a coordination center to critically analyze available data and distribute reliable information on all aspects of China’s economy.”

“China has the second largest economy in the world and is our most prolific trading partner outside of North America,” said Rep. Phillips. “Yet Chinese economic data is unreliable and incomplete, meaning that American investors and lawmakers are too often left operating in the dark. By creating a national clearinghouse for accurate and comprehensive information about China’s economy, this bipartisan legislation would ensure transparency for our businesses at home - while holding our adversary accountable for their manipulative behavior.”

“For too long China has gotten away with unethical trade and monetary practices that circumvent international law and hurt the American worker,” said Rep. Waltz. “By establishing the China Economic Data Coordination Center, we will strengthen our abilities to monitor China’s robust economic and trade activities and provide comprehensive reports that will lead to stronger domestic policies.”

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the threat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to the United States,” said Rep. Barr. “Requiring the Commerce and Treasury Departments to develop metrics to track the CCP's economic data, investments in the U.S., as well as the destructive Belt and Road Initiative will better inform policymakers as we work to better position the U.S. against the CCP. I commend Congressman Gonzalez for leading this legislation in the House."

The center established by this legislation would coordinate with the heads of other Federal agencies and the private sector to collect and synthesize any official and unofficial economic data on developments in China’s financial markets. It would also analyze the United States’ exposure to risks and vulnerabilities in China’s financial system. The center would also coordinate with the Department of the Treasury to produce biannual briefings and reports to Congress and the private sector.