President Joe Biden is set to pull a number of Chinese companies from a red-flag trade list, a move that comes as the Democrat and other administration officials stress the need for cooperation with the communist nation on climate change.
Biden's Commerce Department plans to remove an undisclosed number of Chinese entities from its so-called unverified list, which includes foreign companies that the United States cannot tour in person "to determine whether they can be trusted to receive sensitive technology exports," Reuters reported Wednesday. American officials must receive approval from China's commerce ministry to inspect any Chinese company—approval that Beijing has been unwilling to grant in the past. Once the decision is finalized, U.S. exporters "will no longer have to conduct additional due diligence before sending goods" to the Chinese companies removed from the list, according to Reuters.
Both Biden and his climate czar, John Kerry, have expressed a desire to work with China on climate change in recent weeks. In a Nov. 14 meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Biden "underscored that the United States and China must work together to address transnational challenges such as climate change … because that is what the international community expects," a White House readout of the meeting shows. Kerry, meanwhile, lamented in October that geopolitical tension between the United States and China interrupted the two nation's climate talks.
Biden has pledged to transition the United States away from fossil fuels and toward a "green" economy, which the Democrat says will be "truly made in America." China's dominance of the green energy supply chain, however, complicates that initiative. Biden has already sent hundreds of millions of dollars in green energy funding to companies with deep ties to Beijing—in October, for example, the Democrat's Energy Department awarded a $200 million grant to lithium battery company Microvast Holdings, a lithium battery company that operates primarily from China. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the grant would "supercharge the private sector to ensure our clean energy future is American-made," prompting staunch criticism from Republicans.
"The Department of Energy continues to operate in a manner that undermines and endangers our national security," Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) said in a Dec. 7 letter to Granholm. "It is clear DOE's actions directly undermine the United States' position in its race against China for technological supremacy."