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Balderson, Bicameral Delegation’s Legislation Will Hold China Accountable for Reckless Deception Leading to Global Pandemic

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WASHINGTON – Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH) today introduced bicameral legislation with Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that will hold China accountable for deceptive actions taken by its leaders that led to the spread and subsequent global pandemic of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The COVID-19 Accountability Act authorizes the President to impose sanctions on China if it fails to cooperate with a full investigation led by the US or our allies into the events that lead to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The number of Ohioans’ lives needlessly claimed by this pandemic could have been significantly reduced had China taken appropriate measures to control the virus’ spread and disclose its severity,” said Balderson. “The United States can’t look the other way when China so recklessly compromised worldwide health and the global economy. China and its Communist Party leadership must be held accountable.”

Under the COVID-19 Accountability Act, the President would be required to make a certification to Congress within sixty days that China has:

  • Provided a full and complete accounting to any COVID-19 investigation led by the United States, its allies, or United Nations affiliates, such as the World Health Organization (WHO);
  • Closed all wet markets that have the potential to expose humans to health risks; and
  • Released all pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong that were arrested in the post COVID-19 crackdowns.

The President would also be given the authority to impose a range of sanctions to hold China accountable, including asset freezes, travel bans, visa revocations, restricting U.S. financial institutions from making loans to Chinese businesses, and prohibiting Chinese firms from being listed on American stock exchanges.

This bill also requires the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the Chinese pharmaceutical industry, expands the research and development tax credit to incentivize innovation and commercial development of goods in the United States, and calls upon the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain Taiwan observer status at the World Health Organization.

Other original cosponsors of this legislation include Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Mark Walker (R-NC), Greg Steube (R-FL), Austin Scott (R-GA), Rick Allen (R-GA), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Michael Waltz (R-FL), Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Jim Banks (R-IN), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Michael Guest (R-MS), William Timmons (R-SC), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Dan Bishop (R-NC) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). Companion legislation to the House bill was introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in the U.S. Senate.


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