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Volume XIII, Number 32


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January 30, 2023

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TradeTalk China: January 14-20, 2023

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: A New Standard of “Influence?”

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act (H.R. 22), which would prohibit the Department of Energy (DOE) from selling petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to any entity that is “under the ownership, control, or influence of the Chinese Communist Party.” 

  • Why it matters: The bill does not direct DOE on how to define “influence,” leaving open what exactly would fall under that term, as opposed to clearer concepts like “ownership” or “control.”  Without guidance from Congress, DOE could end up with an unwieldly definition. Industry stakeholder participation in any rulemaking to follow will be critical to ensuring reasonable application of the concept, as Congress may apply this term in other legislation aimed at addressing Chinese competition over the coming months. 

U.S.-China Tensions Thaw in Switzerland

This week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. During the meeting, they discussed the importance of enhancing U.S.-China communications around macroeconomic and financial issues, as well as sustainable development and clean energy transitions. Readouts and remarks from both sides emphasized a positive tone and noted efforts to work together.

  • What’s next: Following the nearly three-hour meeting, officials announced a group of U.S. Treasury staff will visit China in February to prepare for a coming visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen to the country.

Weekly Roundup – Congressional Quotables

  1. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo requesting documents linked to the enforcement of export controls on sensitive technologies: “The United States needs a whole-of-government approach to protect sensitive and military-useful technology from foreign adversaries, such as the People’s Republic of China.”

  2. House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) in a letter to the University of Pennsylvania following the discovery of classified Obama-Biden Administration documents at the Penn Biden Center: “The American people deserve to know whether the Chinese Communist Party, through Chinese companies, influenced potential Biden Administration policies with large, anonymous donations to UPenn and the Penn Biden Center.”

  3. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) following the release of the Americas Trade and Investment (AmericasAct to establish a regional trade, investment, and people-to-people partnership of countries in the Western Hemisphere: “The draft bill counters China’s growing control over global manufacturing and geopolitics by uniting democracies in our hemisphere through fair trade and shared values.”

  4. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) endorsing Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) for the open Indiana Senate seat in 2024: “We need Jim in the Senate to build a strong military that will defend the homeland and stand up to our adversaries like Communist China.”

  5. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) following his selection as chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC): The panel will “aggressively counter the transnational repression of Xi Jinping’s brutal dictatorship and ramp up scrutiny of those who are aiding and abetting the Communist regime.”

© Copyright 2023 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 20

About this Author

Pablo Carrillo Government Policies Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm
Of Counsel

Pablo E. Carrillo served as Chief of Staff to US Senator John McCain, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former US presidential candidate. He was responsible for the development and implementation of the Senator’s legislative and congressional oversight strategy.

Pablo also served as Minority General Counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he advised the Ranking Member and other Republican Senators on the defense authorization bill and the Minority’s oversight and investigative activities, as well as defense acquisition and contracting policy. He was the...

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Ludmilla Kasulke Trade Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Washington DC
Senior Associate

Ludmilla (Milla) Kasulke draws on her experience in both domestic and international policy to assist clients on trade matters. Milla provides multinational corporations, sovereign governments and entities, and quasi-government entities with advice on a wide range of trade policy, legal, and regulatory issues. She has been actively engaged in all aspects of the Section 232 process, including the exclusion petition process, and regularly advises clients on the impacts of current and potential new actions. Milla also regularly counsels clients on the impacts of current and potential new trade...

Camilo Daza Manga Public Policy Specialist
Public Policy Specialist

Camilo Daza Manga is a member of the firm’s Public Policy Practice, where he helps clients develop strategies to navigate the legislative process and achieve their goals, covering areas such as foreign affairs, trade, technology and education.

Prior to his role as a public policy specialist, Camilo participated in our highly competitive public policy internship program, where he monitored legislative and regulatory developments and analyzed legislation impacting the firm’s expansive network of global clients.


Rong Qin Public Policy Specialist Squire Patton Boggs
Public Policy Specialist

Rong Qin is a member of the Public Policy Practice, where she helps clients develop strategies to navigate the legislative process and achieve their goals, covering areas such as foreign affairs, trade, energy and technology.

Rong is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she studied international political economy and international economics, with a specialization in quantitative methods and economic theory application. While at SAIS, her master’s thesis using econometrics to analyze countries’...