House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the China Task Force, discussed on Wednesday the findings of a new report, which outlines a “blueprint” for bipartisan actions Congress and the Trump administration can take to address the threat of China.
“We were woken up to the real challenge after COVID in the supply chain and looking at every department in government, there’s a lot of weaknesses there that China has taken advantage of us of, that we really have to open up our eyes and do something much different and that’s what this report really shows the rest of the country,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.”
On Wednesday, House Republicans released the results of their monthslong probe into the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and how the U.S. can turnaround a "failed" engagement strategy that has put Americans' safety and prosperity at risk.
The China Task Force report makes 83 key findings and 430 policy recommendations on how the U.S. can better combat the threat of the CCP, whose malign activities have gone unchecked for too long, the GOP leaders say.
Appearing on “Mornings with Maria” with McCaul, R-Texas, McCarthy highlighted “three major items” revealed in the China Task Force report, noting that “60% of all the ideas” in it are bipartisan.
“We need to change our supply chain, not just for medical but every other element that we deal with within China,” McCarthy said as he explained the “major items.”
McCarthy then explained the third item: “We’ve got to refocus when we look at the Treasury Department.”
“They have a team there for Iran and for North Korea, but they have no team in there, especially when it comes to sanctions, when it comes to China,” McCarthy said. “You know how much they’ve been stealing from us.”
“So the modernization and the preparation that we need, especially after what we’ve learned from COVID when it came to the supply chain, you should apply that to almost every element that we have within government of how far behind we were and we can’t allow China to continued to do that to us in the future,” he continued.
The recommendations include securing the medical supply chain by boosting U.S. production, allowing the Department of Defense to fund experimentation of emerging technologies to modernize the U.S. military faster and to require the Treasury Department to sanction China.
The report also calls for the U.S. to secure a bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan, to require heightened scrutiny of Chinese investment in U.S. companies, and to cut off material support for CCP military-industrial base companies.
The China Task Force, comprised of 15 GOP members, was formed in May to assess the threat of the Chinese Community Party and come up with legislative solutions on how to combat the risks. The work has taken on greater importance during the coronavirus pandemic that originated in China before killing more than 1 million people worldwide.
In the aftermath of shortages of personal protective equipment in the United States, the task force has honed in on securing the medical and national security supply chains through targeted tax incentives to speed up the production of critical goods. The GOP representatives also call for providing a safe harbor for Hong Kong refugees and to determine whether the crimes against the Uyghurs, a persecuted ethnic minority in China, amount to genocide.
The China Task Force was initially set to be bipartisan, but Democrats bailed on the effort, the Washington Post first reported. McCarthy, however, plowed forward with the GOP effort anyway.
“We tried to do this task force bipartisan, tried to do it more than a year ago, and actually Nancy Pelosi agreed to it and right before we announced it she backed out,” McCarthy told host Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. “This is long before COVID.”
He later asked, “Why are the Democrats not helping with this? Why did Nancy Pelosi pull back?”
“I’m not sure what the Communist Party has on the Democrats, but it’s pretty powerful,” McCarthy continued.
McCaul said he thinks Democrats “made a big mistake” by not joining the China Task Force.
“They just want to focus on the president. They don’t want to focus on where the virus came from, that’s China,” McCaul said.
“We want things to be made in America, not made in China,” he continued. “The virus is made in China, but we want manufacturing and jobs made in the United States of America.”
McCaul also stressed the importance of moving supply chains to the U.S.
Bartiromo noted on Wednesday that McCarthy “made a commitment to America in terms of creating jobs” should he become the speaker and take the majority in the House of Representatives in November.
She then asked, “How long is it going to take to get these 10 million jobs created that you believe you can fire up from moving supply chains back to America?”
McCarthy said he believed 10 million new jobs will be created by the end of next year by bringing the supply chains back to the country.
“One of the elements of making that happen is exactly this, taking a lot of these recommendations that are inside this China Task Force [report] because what it will do is bring the jobs back to America,” McCarthy said.
He pointed out that penicillin isn’t made in America and vitamins aren’t made in the U.S. anymore.
“Think for a point if this was something beyond COVID, if this was a national defense challenge, would we be able to resupply the businesses that we have or are we too coupled with China itself? What we’re finding is, the answer is ‘yes’ and China has been utilizing this for quite some time,” he said.
Since May, the task force has met with 125 people, including policy experts, business leaders and bipartisan current and former administration officials.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.