Congress Proposes $500 Million for Negative News Coverage of ChinaThe effort to counter China’s ‘malign influence’ would fund negative coverage of China’s Belt and Road Initiative—while also beefing up the U.S.’s international lending.
BY LEE HARRIS
FEBRUARY 9, 2022
A tech and manufacturing bill currently moving through Congress allocates $500 million for media outlets to produce journalism for overseas audiences that is critical of China.
Meant to “combat Chinese disinformation,” the bill would direct funding to the U.S. Agency for Global Media, a U.S.-run foreign media service, as well as local outlets and programs to train foreign journalists.
The America COMPETES Act, just passed by the House, is an industrial policy plan for semiconductor production and supply chain resiliency. It sets aside technology investment funds for everything from high-level research to high school computer science.
If a domestic manufacturing bill seems like the wrong setting for spending on foreign news dispatches, sponsors say it’s a natural fit, since the need to stimulate American production is a matter of competition with Beijing. The sales pitch for reviving global competitiveness has been vivid: The country’s use of forced labor in Xinjiang camps, Nancy Pelosi said last week in a speech on the bill, “hurts American workers who have to compete with slave labor.”