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The China Challenge: Senate Commerce Committee, Keith Krach

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Keith Krach
U.S. Under Secretary of State for
Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
Before the
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
Subcommittee on Security
My charge at the State Department is to develop and operationalize a framework for a global economic security strategy that combats the PRC’s economic aggression, drives economic growth, maximizes national security, and advances peace and prosperity. It’s been my honor to work with many in Congress to shape this strategy.
During my confirmation hearing, I stated that “I fully appreciate the enormity and gravity of this role, especially in a time where the reality we face as a nation is one of ever-increasing cyber warfare and seemingly ceaseless variations of intense, perhaps even weaponized, economic competition.”

I also said, “It is comforting to know that both sides of the aisle understand that China is playing the long game, and they are playing for keeps—a four-dimensional game of economic, military, diplomatic, and cultural chess with little respect for human rights, intellectual property, rule of law, transparency, the environment, or the sovereignty of other nations.”

During the hearing, when asked how I would accomplish my objectives, I said “my focus would be on embracing this opportunity and harnessing three powerful areas of competitive advantage: strengthening our partnerships with friends and allies, leveraging the innovation and resources of the private sector, and amplifying the moral high ground of our American values and enduring optimism to advance peace and prosperity for our country and for the world.”

Congress passed the bipartisan Championing American Business Through Diplomacy Act, which bolsters U.S. business competitiveness abroad. It does so by empowering the Department of State to now work alongside the Department of Commerce to coordinate interagency efforts to leverage our diplomatic missions to promote U.S. economic and business around the world. Our strategy for advancing global economic security and combating China’s economic aggression has yielded results. To give you a sampling of the breadth and the depth of our efforts, I am highlighting our work in the following six areas: 5G, semiconductors, supply chains, institutions of higher learning, the One Belt One Road, and the environment.

This requires acknowledging the true aspirations of despotic regimes. It requires a bold vision for how we can win the international economic competition, protect American assets, catalyze a new era of prosperity and innovation, create enduring advantages for the American people, and spread the success of free enterprise around the world.