U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, in an appearance in Trenton on Monday that could signal greater political aspirations, announced the American Jobs and Competition Plan — a legislative package aiming to strengthen America’s economic and national security in the face of competition with the Chinese Communist Party.
Sherrill (D-11th Dist.), standing with New Jersey business and labor leaders at an event at Thomas Edison State University, introduced the first pillar of the plan, the Leading Global Innovation Resolution, which is a call to action for the public, private and nonprofit sectors on the CCP’s “Made in China 2025” plan, a state-led industrial policy that aims to make China the global leader in cutting-edge technology and innovation.
The Leading Global Innovation Resolution is a call to action for Congress, the federal government and private industry about the challenges from the CCP’s economic aggression — and an opportunity to address this with a whole of government and private sector approach.
The resolution details the “Made in China 2025” plan’s history and intentions to dominate technology of the future — like semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing — and also outlines the CCP’s many well-known cases of unfair trade practices, economic espionage and other malign activities against American businesses. Finally, the resolution urges the public, private and nonprofit sectors to invest together in key industries and workforce training initiatives to outcompete this CCP strategy.
“For too long, policymakers haven’t given the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘Made in China 2025’ plan the attention or urgency it deserves — and that ends today,” she said. “We must act swiftly to counter the CCP’s escalating economic aggression and attempts to dominate the technology of the future that is so critical to our economic and national security.”
The American Jobs and Competition Plan is Sherrill’s first major legislative push as part of her new assignment on the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and Chinese Communist Party, which was created at the beginning of the 118th Congress.
In the coming months, Sherrill is expected to introduce more legislation as part of the American Jobs and Competition Plan to address security challenges posed by CCP-affiliated technology, combat the CCP’s unfair trade practices, boost the role of the Department of Commerce and strengthen our country’s partnerships and alliances.
The impact, Sherrill said, reaches New Jersey businesses.
“I’ve heard from too many New Jersey businesses that have been targets of the CCP’s unfair and illegal trade practices — hurting their ability to grow and create jobs here at home,” she said. “Building on my efforts to pass the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, this resolution is a bipartisan call to action for the public, private and nonprofit sectors to work together to ensure that the U.S. is competitive for the future, and to win this era of strategic competition with the CCP.”
This resolution already has received endorsements from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, IBEW Local 102, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Veterans Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Business & Industry Association, Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and New Jersey Council of County Colleges.
Pat Delle Cava, business manager at IBEW Local 102, said the plan would ensure organized labor is at the front and center of our economic strategy moving forward — and protect U.S. workers from CCP economic aggression that undermines jobs in New Jersey.
“Mikie has always had our backs, and we’re proud to stand with her and support this legislative plan moving forward,” he said.
Tom Bracken, CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, said standing together is key.
“The U.S. — and New Jersey — has been the leader in global innovation for decades, and this is now in serious jeopardy due to foreign entities that seek to surpass and supplant us by using unfair and dubious business practices,” he said. “Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a bipartisan approach to ensure that our companies, industries and intellectual properties are protected as best they can — and that millions of American jobs are not threatened due to the actions of those that do not seek to compete on a level and fair playing field.
“Failure is not an option, because the future of our long-term standing as the preeminent global economic power is at stake. We applaud Rep. Mikie Sherrill for realizing the seriousness and immediacy of this situation by introducing the Leading Global Innovation Resolution.”
- State Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Cranbury): “Congresswoman Sherrill’s resolution will help give New Jersey workers and businesses a level playing field on which to compete with international actors, like China. As co-chair of New Jersey’s Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, I look forward to working with the congresswoman to keep New Jersey, and the nation, at the forefront — manufacturing the technology of the future.”
- William Sproule, executive secretary treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters: “Rep. Sherrill’s legislation will help level the playing field for workers and build a better future for organized labor in New Jersey. In Congress, she’s consistently fought to bring back good-paying jobs to New Jersey — and this legislation builds on her efforts to grow the economy here in the Garden State. Mikie knows that organized labor has been the backbone of New Jersey’s economy for generations, and we applaud her efforts to make sure New Jersey workers are getting a fair shake.”
- Peter Connolly, CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program: “Congresswoman Sherrill’s resolution to build more awareness among members of Congress and the American public about the threat and risk to the U.S. if China’s economy strategy were to gain steam is exactly what the industry nationwide and especially here in New Jersey needs. We’ve been working for decades to ensure manufacturing has a voice, and that New Jersey is poised to support its ‘MADE in N.J.’ manufacturers so they can compete with China. This focused effort of explaining to members of Congress the critical importance of domestic manufacturing and allowing them to rediscover the industrial strength we have in the country gives us so much hope for a vibrant future for the United States.”