July 13, 2022

Young, Coons Introduce Bill to Counter Economic Coercion of Allies

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the Countering Economic Coercion Act of 2022 to provide meaningful support to partners and allies facing economic pressure and retaliation from foreign adversaries. The bill equips the President with new tools to reduce the impact of economic coercion by strengthening trade and commerce ties with partners on an expedited basis. As some nations around the world continue to deploy punitive and discriminatory economic measures against American partners, particularly those with smaller economies, this legislation will ensure that our shared economic and security interests are safeguarded from foreign threats.

“Some foreign adversaries think they can drive a wedge between Western allies by using economic intimidation or by harming economies through opaque, informal actions. These threats and grabs for power cannot go unchecked,” said Senator Young. “Our bipartisan bill will provide the flexibility to help our foreign partners on an expedited basis when they are targeted for standing up to authoritarian regimes. By supporting our partners under threat, we protect America’s own national security interests.”

“Providing targeted support to allies and partners struggling with the impacts of economic coercion will not only help bolster their own resilience against these actions, but it will also help safeguard American economic and security interests,” said Senator Coons. “Countries like China and Russia have increasingly utilized these tactics to bully smaller countries and undermine the democratic, rules-based international system. I’m proud to work with Senator Young to provide new tools to help our allies can stand up to economic coercion.”

The Countering Economic Coercion Act of 2022 would provide the President with specific tools to offer rapid and effective economic support to foreign partners targeted by economic coercion, including authorities to:

  • Decrease duties or modify quotas on imports from the foreign partner to make up for lost exports to other nations due to coercive actions;
  • Expedite export licensing decisions and regulatory processes to facilitate trade;
  • Seek appropriations to support foreign aid, export financing, and sovereign loan guarantees; and
  • Waive certain policy requirements to facilitate export financing.

The bill directs the President to seek to coordinate the U.S. response with other allies in order to provide comprehensive economic relief and demonstrate broad resolve against economic coercion.

In determining whether economic coercion is taking place, and deciding whether and how to support the targeted country, the President would be required to consult with Congress to ensure proper congressional oversight of any actions. Any determination of economic coercion — and any authorities exercised under a determination — would sunset after two years, or upon a joint resolution of Congress.

Text of the bill is available here.