WASHINGTON- WE Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, participated today during a hearing focused on economic governance and discussed its legislation to support allies facing economic coercion. This bill, the Combating Economic Coercion Act 2022is also led by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), and equips the preside with new tools to reduce the impact of economic coercion by strengthening business and trade ties with partners on an accelerated basis.
Senator Coons at the Senate Foreign Relations hearing: Many thanks to President Menendez, Ranking Member Risch, and our panel of witnesses. President Menendez, I am very encouraged by your focus on economic coercion, your legislative leadership on this, and I look forward to working closely with you on this. I think that you have emphasized in the work of this committee not only the study or the reflection on what we need to do strategically and on the tools that we need, but also on the production of these results so that we can strengthen the position of our partners, diplomats, development professionals, and I am delighted to work with you on your 21st Century Economic Governance Act.
I recently introduced a bill, the Countering Economic Coercion Act, with Senator Young. I see them as complementary and I am hopeful that we can work together to advance these two laws. We have both seen how Russia, and China, and other states are deliberately inflicting economic damage, economic damage, on some of our partners and allies and on countries that are at an uncertain point. They use economic power to punish or intimidate or influence sovereign states in our hemisphere and around the world, sometimes through informal pressure, intimidation or threats, sometimes through formal actions. It harms our national security interests, our economy and undermines international rules. The president’s bill would establish an interagency task force to develop a strategy to combat economic coercion, and I enthusiastically support that, and my bill would provide the president with new tools to deliver – I would discuss – effective economic support for our partners targeted by economic coercion. For example, many of us have offered our support to Lithuania in recent months.. President Biden has expressed his support for Lithuania. The bill that I am trying to pass would add tools to the pthe residents’ toolkit to provide such support not just in words but in deeds by targeting specific tariff reductions, expediting decisions on easing import or export restrictions, providing greater flexibility for export financing.