tv U.S. Senate Senators Kennedy and Sasse on Trade Relations with China CSPAN May 21, 2020 7:53am-8:11am EDT
there is no honor in the number of people infected with coronavirus. the united states, 1.5 million cases has nothing to celebrate, it is something to be ashamed of. calling it a badge of honor isn't just wrong, it is sick and it is an insult to every american family that loses a loved one to this evil disease. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. >> i would like to talk for a few minutes about, about china. china, as you know, is a wonderful country. it is about one.4, 1.5 billion people. by comparison a lot of times, you see reported 1.2 billion but they are a lot bigger than that. america only has 330 million
folks. by land size, it is the same size as the united states. a lot of people think they are the biggest country by land. and canada is number 2 in china, number 3 by land, we are both close. i love visiting china. the people of china, they are wonderful people, very smart, very hard-working, very aspirational and i say this because when i talk about china i want you to understand i am not talking about the people of china. the people of china are good people. the chinese communist party not so much.
i regret having to say this. i would not turn my back on the chinese communist party if they were two days ahead. i don't want to have a cold war with china. i would rather see us work together for the common good of the planet earth. we tried but that didn't work out very well. we admitted china to the world trade organization on december 11th, 2001. it wasn't just our decision, but you know better than i do china wouldn't have been admitted to the wto without our
support. we agreed december 11th, 2001, china started cheating december 12th. they still -- steel our intellectual properties, not just hours, everyone else in the world, they steal the world's intellectual property, they subsidize state-owned company so other companies throughout the world don't get state subsidies, they manipulated their currency. they are trying to control the sea lanes of the world, they are seizing islands that don't belong to them. the next step, they will try to militarize space, use their economic power as a weapon.
our friends and allies in australia ask some very reasonable questions about the origins of the coronavirus and covid-19. china has responded by saying we refuse to buy any more of your products. those are just the facts. the managerial elites told us, a lot of the entrenched politicians, the deep thinkers of the world come the academics, many members of the media, the bureaucrats, the corporate phonies, the ones who think they are smarter, more virtuous than the rest of us told us you are wrong about china. the patient with china. be patient with them. free enterprise will change china. china has changed free
enterprise and china is on a glide path to dominance. you know what the united states congress has done about it? nothing. the row. zip. not a. let me say it again. i love the people of china. i'm talking about the chinese communist party. i do not, i do not want to get into a new cold war. all i want and all the rest of us want is for china to play by the. let me give you an example. every company in the world that goes public would like to list on united states stock exchange.
the s&p, the new york stock exchange, we are very efficient, we are excruciatingly transparent, we like investors throughout the world to know what they are buying. we require companies to disclose and i think our sec does an extraordinarily able job. i think chairman jack clayton has just been a rock star. we have a room, as you know, mister president that if you list on our exchanges you have to file periodic reports. once again, we want investors to understand what they are investing in. those reports have to be accurate or you get in a lot of trouble.
one of the things for example, one of these reports companies have to file is an annual audit but we take a step further in the united states. ..ath or within the s.e.c. called the public company accounting oversight board, pcaob. really all that board does -- i say all. it's important -- that board inspects the audits that the companies file, not because they think the companies are cheating think the companies are cheating not because they think the companies are cheating, though some do, but it's like when we play poker with friends. i played poker with friends. they are my friends but i cut the cards every single time. and that's what our sec does to this board. they say we will double check your audits. and everybody has to comply with
that c rule. american companies, british companies, malaysian companies, turkmenistan companies. except one, chinese companies. they just say no. they just say no, we're not going to do it. and do you know what we do about it? nothing. zero. zilch. not a. this is not a two or three month phenomenon. this has gone on for years and years and years, and all of us in the executive branch, and yes, and congress, we half and we pop and we strut around and we hold hearings and we pressed the issue, press releases then we do nothing.ro and where i come from what you allow is what will continue.
now, i have a deal that's very simple. it says to all the companies out there in the world, including but not limited to china, if you want to list on the american exchange you have to submit an audit. and the sec has the right to look at that audit an audit audit. and if you refuse, not once, not twice, but three times, if over a a three-year period each of those three years, the company says you cannot audit my audit, then they can no longer be listed on the american exchanges. it's very, very simple. and once again i tried to be very fair, as did my co-author,
senator chris van hollen. we spent af lot time on this. we want b to be -- we don't want to be unfair to chinese companies. we are not changing the rules. they have just been ignoring the rules. when not going to give you just one chance, , we're going to gie you three chances. if you ignore the sec request to do for a chinese or any other company what they can do to all the other companies in the world, and that is audit their audits, and if you ignore the sec for three years then you've got to take your business somewhere else. and do you know who that's going to help the most, mr. president? the investors. the investors of america and the investors of the world. most of the companies that a a public companies, i believe, tell the truth.
but some of them don't. and this is hard-earned money that people invest with. mr. president, the name of my bill -- strike that. the name of our bill, senator chris van hollen, the name of our bill is the holding foreign companies a noble act. -- accountable act. as i just explained it's very simple. for that reason, mr. president, as this in legislative session i task unanimous consent that the committee on banking, housing and urban affairs be discharged from further consideration of s945 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration.
>> the clerk will report. >> as 945 a bill to amend the sarbanes-oxley act of 2002 200d so forth and for other purposes. >> is there objection? without objection the committee is discharged and sent will proceed to the measure. >> mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the kennedy substitute amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to. the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed, andd at the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. >> is there objection? without objection. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum.
>> mr. president? >> the senator from nebraska. >> i request that the quorum call be vitiated. >> without objection. >> thank you, mr. president and thank you for spelling in the chair. i had not planned to make it for speech right now but it wanted to commend you on your come both under legislation and on an important point that a thank you enumerated both for this body and for the americans watching. so first of all good piece of legislation. i supported it, wanted it to move out of banking committee and get to the floor so it's important legislation. congratulations and thanks for your leadership. second of all, mr. president, as you began your speech t you distinguished between the chinese people and the chinese communist party. i think many t of us who were worried the number one long-term national security threat this country faces is the technology race with the chinese communist party and the way that they use fake private sector companies to
steal from u.s. public and private sector entities. and when we talk about the problems, those of us who consider ourselves china hawks, when you talk about this problem we regularly and diffusing a shorthand that is china when we of all spent a lot of time in the skiff and in private and a wrestling, and we know we mean the chinese communist party but we don't always adequatelyni qualified that for people who may be entering the debate or knew the debate or looking to politicize the debate so i think it was very important the points that you made that our enemy here is not the 1.4 billion chinese people. our opponent here is the chinese communist party which is only about 90 million people, six or 7% of the population, and even a lot of those people don't actually believe communist propaganda and nonsense about the fact that so many of their people and people beyond the borders are not perceived by the chinese communist party iseo actually having dignity. some people just join the party because they need to for local reasons to get ahead or to
maintain the property or other entities. and so the chinese, his party is a tiny subset of what's happening in china, and car battle, our fight, our problems are not with the chinese people. there with the chinese communist party. one of the ways l i learned this lesson is by having used a shorthand for vladimir putin a few times in the past and i said russia, when i met vladimir putin. and a think the american people stand interested not just in the future of the chinese people but also with the russian people and both ofby these countries are le by some really bad actors. and onelo time i made a speech here on the floor about some of the terrible things vladimir putin was doing to oppress his people and to meddle in our election and other elections, and after the speech which i thought covered the point i needed to cover, agaricus bar off some of the former world chess champion came kimmitt sad cannon talk to you? we went to lunch and he said if you actually want a fight
against bladder and putin because freedom loving people in the u.s. and russia should be opposed, it should be helpful that you not a disparaging vladimir putin say a whole bunch of that stuff aboutpa the word russia. you accidentally, he said to me, you accidentally referred to a problem as russia when you met putin. i think i've learned that lesson with regard to russia by think a lot of us around here don't or sufficiently distinguish between china and the chinese communist party saw just wanted to a firm and underscore your message nott just good legislation but it's good for americans, is good for investors in the u.s. and abroad, is good for a level playing field. but as we oppose the bad action of the chinese communist party and their intellectual property theft and the manipulation of currency and numbers and public health data and on and on and on, our opponent is not the chinese people, and we should say that both so the american people understand and so the chinese peopl u
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