china and usa

Redefining the U.S.-China Economic Relationship: Implications for Immigration and National Security

In a recent development that holds significant implications for U.S. immigration and national security policy, the House Select Committee on China has released a comprehensive strategy aimed at fundamentally resetting the U.S.-Chinese economic relationship. This strategy, as reported by Alyssa Aquino for Law360, encompasses nearly 150 policy recommendations, highlighting the intricate and evolving dynamics between the two global powers.

The committee's call for ending normal trade relations with China, a move that would subject the country to higher tariffs, is particularly notable. This recommendation, which has previously found support primarily among a few conservatives, represents a significant shift in the approach toward managing economic exchanges with China. The rationale behind this move is to minimize the risk of sensitive technology and valuable intellectual property falling into China's hands, a concern that echoes throughout the U.S. government's national security strategies.

Among the key proposals is the renewal of the China Safeguard mechanism, an authority that lapsed in 2013. This mechanism empowers the imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports that are determined by the U.S. International Trade Commission to cause market disruptions in the U.S. The committee’s recommendations also include expanding the U.S.’s current trade toolbox, enacting duties on additional categories of technologies, and increasing reporting obligations for investments in China.

However, the implications of these recommendations extend beyond trade and economics. One of the more intriguing suggestions from the committee involves leveraging the U.S. immigration system to bolster domestic manufacturing. This includes establishing a work authorization program for nationals of certain allied countries with expertise in critical and emerging technologies. Furthermore, the committee suggests updating the U.S. Department of Labor's Schedule A occupations list to ease the process for domestic employers to fill positions critical to national security.

The committee’s strategy underlines a growing recognition of the multifaceted challenges posed by China's economic policies, military expansionism, and authoritarian tendencies. As Jamieson Greer, a former chief of staff to the U.S. Trade Representative and a partner at King & Spalding LLP, notes, this report signifies the bipartisan concern over China's practices and the need for a robust policy response.

For immigration attorneys and potential clients seeking immigration services, these developments are particularly relevant. The proposed use of the immigration system as a tool for strengthening U.S. technological leadership and manufacturing capacity could lead to new opportunities and challenges in immigration law. It underscores the need for expertise in navigating the complexities of immigration policies that are increasingly intertwined with broader national security and economic strategies.

As a former immigration officer and an experienced immigration attorney, understanding these shifts in policy and the implications for clients is paramount. The evolving U.S.-China relationship necessitates a nuanced approach to immigration law, one that aligns with the national interest while addressing the needs of individuals and businesses.

In conclusion, the House Select Committee on China’s strategy to reset the economic relationship with China marks a pivotal moment in U.S. policy. It calls for a comprehensive reevaluation of economic engagement strategies and emphasizes the need for new tools to address the challenges posed by China. For those in the field of immigration law, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity to adapt to the changing landscape of global politics and economics.


Aquino, Alyssa. “House Committee Seeks To 'Reset' US-China Relationship.” Law360, 12 Dec. 2023.

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