March 6, 2024

Cassidy, Bennet, Salazar, Espaillat, Gallagher Introduce Landmark Bill to Counter China, Bring Stability to Western Hemisphere

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and U.S. Representatives Maria Salazar (R-FL-27) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) today introduced their long-awaited Americas Act to create an ever-expanding and permanent trade partnership of Western Hemisphere countries and counter China’s growing control over global manufacturing and geopolitics. The Americas Act is endorsed and cosponsored by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08). It aims to unite democracies in our hemisphere and comes after Cassidy and Salazar released a discussion draft last year. 

“We need to relevel the playing field between freedom-loving democracies and those who exploit the rules like China. We do that by refocusing on the Western Hemisphere to improve trade, bring manufacturing back to our shores, and end China’s growing influence,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our Americas Act will make economies across the hemisphere more resilient, governments more stable, and our hemisphere more prosperous.”

“No region has greater ties to the United States than the Western Hemisphere. Yet in recent years we have failed to offer the region a compelling economic alternative to China’s growing influence. This bill changes that. It creates an opportunity for the United States to renew our partnerships across Latin America and the Caribbean, strengthen the rule of law, deepen economic prosperity, and embrace our values in a shared struggle for democracy,” said Senator Bennet.

“It’s past time we unleash the full economic potential of the United States and Latin America. The Americas Act is THE solution to grow our economy and bring stability to the hemisphere,”said Representative Salazar. “This bill will create world-class business opportunities and jobs in Miami, help our allies in Latin America, build resiliency for American supply chains, and combat China’s influence.”

“At its core, the Americas Act is a multi-billion-dollar job creation tool for the U.S. and its allies in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Representative Espaillat. “With its reshoring and nearshoring loans, tax benefits, and other targeted grant assistance for workers at home and in our Western Hemisphere partner countries, the Americas Act will bring jobs and investment back to our Hemisphere and stem the root causes of migration by putting more money into the pockets of working families. Importantly, by creating grant programs for both textiles and medical devices and equipment, this bill directly bolsters the two of the largest and most important export industries for the U.S.’s current Western Hemisphere trade partners, including the Dominican Republic. All in all, the Americas Act represents the most transformative piece of legislation to benefit the Western Hemisphere in two decades.”

“If our reliance on Chinese manufacturing and our lack of sufficient domestic and ally production are not properly addressed, our supply chain will remain at risk of manipulation by the CCP, putting Americans in danger,” said Chairman Gallagher. “We must encourage key industries to start diversifying their supply chains. Because if we find ourselves in a confrontation with China over Taiwan, American consumers are going to absorb a lot of pain—all the more reason we need to be smart about this on the front end.”

Read the section-by-section here

Background

More than 60 million Americans are of Hispanic descent, helping to make the U.S. the fourth-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Together, the hemisphere grows enough food and produces enough critical minerals to sustain every country in the Americas.

Last year, Cassidy and Bennet spoke to the Council of the Americas about the Americas Act. They highlighted the need for the U.S. to reimagine its neglected Latin America policy and take a more comprehensive approach to the hemisphere. They focused on the plan’s mechanism to expand the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the gold standard for trade agreements, and the new investment corporation that would promote economic development across the hemisphere. The returns generated by the investment corporation would fully pay for the plan. 

The discussion draft released last year received support from Latin American leaders and other stakeholders. Learn more about what people are saying.  

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