When it comes to selecting strategic partners, we must stay focused on the goal:
a strong, free and prosperous America for ALL Americans.”
– Amanda Adkins
Advancing Strategic Partnerships and Addressing the Threat of China
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same.”– President Ronald Reagan
This statement from one of our nation’s greatest leaders is as true today as it was when he said it more than 30 years ago. As the United States engages in global partnerships, it is imperative we pursue strategic relationships with other countries and allies that protect and advance the economic and national security of America.
When elected to Congress, I will be committed to building strategic partnerships that:
- Advance the national economic interests of the U.S. – International business, trade, and the free market are all important. However, the U.S. must develop a national strategy to assess gaps and vulnerabilities related to our supply chain.
- Promote Democracy and protect national sovereignty through military coordination – The U.S. must continue to pursue cooperative agreements that address our shared security needs.
- Share U.S. values – Americansbelieve in freedom, democracy and the dignity and value of all people. We must prioritize working with partners who share these principles and shine a light on human rights abuses.
Ideology matters when it comes to how we think about strategic partnerships with other countries. We must seek trustworthy partners who have shared values and seek to complement U.S. endeavors, not compete with or destroy them. Our trade policy and national security are inevitably intertwined and we must view these in concert with each other.
Addressing the Threat of Communist China
The United States has been in a multi-decade power struggle with the People’s Republic of China and Congress has not done enough to hold them accountable. The pandemic made clear that we are too reliant on China. The U.S. must rethink how we build our plan for economic and national security and the types of partners we will prioritize to advance our shared interests.
In 2015, China launched Made in China 2025, a ten year campaign by which China seeks to control science, innovation, technology and the data necessary to lead the global economy. It is difficult to define an entity as a trustworthy partner when they seek to control every aspect of government, business and everyday experience of their citizens.
China has made enormous investments to spur their own economic growth, increase military capabilities, and influence their position globally. As we most recently experienced in the COVID-19 crisis, and healthcare more broadly, America’s dependence on China is a threat Congress must address. There are a range of things the United States can do to secure our position as a global power and decrease dependency on China, but we must recognize this will be a long-term endeavor that will require strategic moves and domestic investments.
America’s interdependence on China for medical supplies and other essential items gave China leverage during the pandemic and is a national security risk. Beyond the need for medical supplies, there are also dependencies on many components important to America’s defense industrial base. According to the U.S. House of Representatives China Task Force Report, “90 percent of the world’s semiconductors (chips) are produced outside of the U.S.” and China has a goal to produce 70 percent by 2025.
Congress has taken steps to decrease over reliance on China by advancing medical research and development (R&D) and manufacturing more medical supplies in the U.S. Congress now needs to turn and require that the Department of Defense develop a national strategy to assess gaps and vulnerabilities related to technological and other needs in our defense industrial base.
The U.S. must take seriously the threat posed by Made in China 2025. We need more targeted tax incentives to accelerate our own R&D and track percentage of product made in the U.S., and we need to ensure U.S. tax dollars are not used to support Chinese enterprises.
Made in China 2025, having prioritized state support for the biotech industry (1), also includes a central focus on the collection of genetic DNA or other healthcare data from around the globe
inclusive of the U.S. China is collecting healthcare information from United States citizens, and you should be worried. This means over time that China could know more about us than we know about ourselves.
National policy needs to take into consideration the protection of future generations as well as American national security. There is an answer here, and it is that YOU should own your healthcare data. Individuals should provide clear, express permission when their healthcare information is to be used for research, and it should legally be made clear where that data will be housed and who has access to it. Permissions are important, and when data is stolen America should pursue criminal prosecution.
Growing military presence
China’s goal to be the world’s superpower assumes regional dominance in the Indo-Pacific and relies upon advancements of the People’s Liberation Army. This has included unlawful military presence in disputed spaces including aggressive operations near Taiwan.
Since the mid 1940s and Chiang Kai-Shek’s move to Taiwan following the Chinese Communist Revolution, Taiwan has been in the middle of an unresolved power conflict. Taiwan has been an important partner to the U.S. since the late 1970s. Their transition to a stable democratic society based on the rule of law represents American values. In addition, the U.S. maintains significant economic interests as Taiwan is our ninth largest trading partner. Defending our relationship with Taiwan says to other partners in the Indo-Pacific region that we stand by our commitments.
National defense is the top priority of the Federal government. Congress should consider commitments to defense spending to counter China (5% growth YOY). As a budget hawk, we are going to have to identify where in the world American interests are prioritized – it must include the Indo-Pacific if the U.S. is going to compete with China. Part of this commitment includes helping Taiwan maintain their democracy and independence.
Defending America’s National Interests
There are a range of things the United States can do to secure our position as a global power and combat the threat from Communist China. It will take strong leaders who recognize this is a long-term endeavor that will require strategic moves and domestic investments. I am fully committed to advancing U.S. economic interests with partners who share our American values and protecting Democracy and national sovereignty through military coordination.
About Amanda. As a business leader, Amanda has worked for a global innovation company headquartered in Kansas City. She knows what it takes to do business in the U.S. and abroad. Her career in healthcare also includes work in precision medicine (population health) during which she has been a champion for consumer control of healthcare data. Early in Amanda’s career she helped author the Independent Health Record Bank Act policy designed to give consumers ownership of their data and include a framework for how information can be used for research and other purposes.
(1) Mark Kazmierczak and Thilo Haneman, “China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement,” Gryphon Scientific and Rhodium Group (prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission), February 14, 2019, 36-38