Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has introduced a bill to permit President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China if it does not cooperate with investigations by the U.S., its allies, or United Nations affiliates into its coronavirus response.
A group of Republicans co-signed the COVID-19 Accountability Act, including: Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Rick Scott, R-Fla.; and Mike Braun, R-Ind.
"The Chinese Communist Party's continued suppression of the truth amid the coronavirus outbreak cannot go unchecked," Wicker wrote in a statement, The Hill reported. "This legislation would authorize the President to take appropriate actions against the Chinese government to ensure similar outbreaks do not happen in the future."
The bill proposes the White House certify within 60 days the Chinese government complied with any investigation, closed all wet markets, and released pro-democracy protesters arrested in Hong Kong after the pandemic started, per The Hill.
Failing those, Trump would be authorized to pick at least two sanctions among an asset freeze on Chinese officials, a travel ban, and revoking visas, and a ban on Chinese student visas, ban on U.S. loans to Chinese entities unless they are associated with limiting human suffering, or international loans that aid a Chinese entity, per the report.
The bill also prevents Chinese-owned entities from listing security on the national securities exchange and mandates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to inform Congress if a Chinese pharmaceutical company is regulated for safety to U.S. standards, The Hill reported.
The bill also expands research and development tax credits for U.S.-based manufacturing.
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