Gina Raimondo, nominated by President Joe Biden for Commerce Secretary, vowed Tuesday during a Senate hearing that it will be tough on China because of its “anti-competitive” trade practices.
“If she confirms me, I plan to be very aggressive to help Americans compete against the unfair practices of China,” she told lawmakers.
Raimundo, the first female ruler of the US state of Rhode Island, said that China “clearly behaved in anti-competitive ways, dumping cheap steel and aluminum in America, which harms American workers and hurts our companies’ ability to compete.”
She said she supported Biden’s position that the United States would consult with its allies to restore fair trade with Beijing.
Raimondo has not committed to keeping telecom giant Huawei or other Chinese companies blacklisted to the United States due to allegations that they pose a threat to US national security.
However, it promised to use the powers of the Commerce Department to “protect Americans and our network from Chinese interference,” adding: “This is Huawei, ZTE or any other company.”
During the Trump administration, the Commerce Department cracked down on Chinese tech companies suspected of industrial espionage or compromising US national security.
Former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has expanded the list of companies that cannot trade with US companies without prior authorization, which has grown to include Chinese telecom giants such as Huawei and ZTE.
In December, weeks before his departure, the Trump administration added Chinese computer chip company Smic to the blacklist, limiting the company’s access to cutting-edge US technology due to its alleged links to the Chinese military.