Sen. Todd Young of Indiana used his time in the Senate confirmation hearing of Deputy Treasury Secretary nominee Wally Adeyemo to put pressure on the Biden Administration not to undo certain Trump Administration policies against China.
Young noted in his remarks that President Trump had signed an executive order months before he was to leave office, essentially bolstering a clause of the 1999 Defense Authorization Act that protects Americans from inadvertently investing in Chinese companies that help fund Chinese military activity.
“This E-O will help to protect U.S. investors from unintentionally providing Capital that ultimately goes towards enhancing the Chinese Community Party and its armed forces,” Young said to Adeyemo. “Both of which routinely target American citizens and businesses through cyber operations.”
Young said Americans who end up investing in these Chinese businesses could be unwittingly supporting the “genocide” of the Uyghur population in China. Young made sure to note that it was Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Adeyemo’s likely new boss, who referred to it as “genocide.”
Adeyemo broadly agreed with Young.
“Stepping back and talking about the importance of this issue, I want to make clear to you that I think it is critical that we use the tools, the Treasury’s tools and our tools, to hold China accountable for actions that they take that are not consistent with international law,” Adeyemo said.
Young asked Adeyemo if he would help “codify this executive order into law.”
“I look forward to working with you on this issue and to looking into what legislation may make sense in terms of ensuring that we protect the American economy from those who seek to harm us,” he replied.
“One of China’s most glaring weaknesses is access to the kind of large-scale financing that only U.S. Capital markets can adequately provide,” Young said. “As this is one of our countries greatest strengths we need to do everything necessary to protect it.”