Last week, Senate Democrats released their “Better Deal on Trade and Jobs” trade policy statement. The seven point platform is aimed at preventing outsourcing of American jobs and increasing American exports.

The white paper describes the policy as putting “workers and small businesses first, ahead of corporate special interests.” It aims to “fundamentally transform” American trade policies to “combat those countries that try to cheat on trade,” singling out both China and Russia.

The plan would greatly increase federal scrutiny of foreign trade and investment by American corporations. Perhaps most significantly, it proposes the creation of an American Jobs Security Council, which would review any potential purchase of an American company by a foreign entity, and would have the authority to stop the deal if it determined that it would have a detrimental economic impact, such as the loss of American jobs.
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Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer wants President Trump to take a stand against China for its kids-gloves response to North Korea’s nuclear missile activity by using the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to deny all pending requests involving Chinese acquisition of U.S. companies.  President Trump has been critical of China for not using leverage within its means to pressure North Korea, and Schumer’s request, which would block Chinese company efforts to establish control of U.S. companies presently being reviewed by the Committee, aims to drive Beijing to take stronger action by wielding its perceived influence over North Korea.
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On June 15, 2017, the Senate overwhelmingly – by a vote of 98-2 – approved broad new sanctions against Russia in response to that country’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election and its ongoing aggression in Syria and Ukraine.

The legislation would make several big changes.  First, the package would codify existing sanctions on Russia, which were imposed in the wake of the invasion of Crimea, into law.  Codifying the sanctions would prevent the White House from unilaterally easing or lifting the sanctions, which the administration could do under current law without obtaining approval from Congress.
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