Wicker, Cortez Masto Target China’s Bad Economic Data

DATA Act Would Help Expose Vulnerabilities for U.S. Investment

March 23, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., today reintroduced 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 consolidate data on China’s financial markets and expose risks for U.S. companies in China.

"Misinformation and deceit abound in China’s ailing economy, presenting huge risks for any U.S. company with interests there. It is time for the U.S. government to give this problem the attention it deserves and coordinate our response," said Wicker. “The DATA Act would help to consolidate information on China's financial markets and highlight risks for U.S. companies. Passage of this legislation would be a significant step toward safeguarding America’s financial interests.”

“I’m working to ensure American companies have the proper resources to compete with China and remain a force on the global stage,” said Cortez Masto. “Our bipartisan legislation will provide businesses in Nevada and across the country with the economic, consumer, and financial data they need to put them on a level playing field with China.”

The senators’ legislation is designed to counter recent moves by China to attract significant foreign investment after years of unbridled lending. However, opaque political structures and inconsistent reporting in China have created massive disadvantages for U.S. companies in the country.

The legislation would require the Department of Commerce to establish a China Economic Data Coordination Center within the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Center would collect, synthesize, and report on specified Chinese economic data regarding Chinese financial markets and U.S. exposure to risks in China's financial system.

The Center would be required to submit a written report to congressional committees on a quarterly basis and provide a report to the public on a monthly basis.

In consultation with the Center, the Secretary of the Treasury would also develop recommendations for the United States to respond to risks and exposures within China’s financial system.

Reports from the Center would include information on:

  • Baseline statistics such as gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Government debt
  • Nonperforming loan amounts
  • Shadow banking assets
  • China’s foreign exchange reserves
  • Bank loan interest rates
  • U.S. retirement accounts tied to Chinese investments
  • China’s exposure to foreign borrowers and flows of official financing for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and other trade-related initiatives
  • Sovereign or near-sovereign loans made by China to other countries or guaranteed by sovereign entities
  • Chinese retirement accounts and investments

Click here to read the full legislation.