Stephanie Murphy: State and Defense Departments Need to Examine China’s Activities in Latin America, Caribbean

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., focused on the “Assessing China’s Presence and Influence in Latin America and the Caribbean Act,” her proposal to have the federal government “prepare for Congress a comprehensive assessment of China’s efforts to expand its presence and influence in Latin America and the Caribbean and to describe how these efforts could undermine American interests.”

Murphy’s proposal would also have the U.S. State and Defense Departments, the intelligence community and the National Security Council report on China’s activities in the Western Hemisphere, including its ties to the Cuban and Venezuelan regimes. The bill would also have those agencies report on China’s military activities, espionage efforts, energy policies and economic activities in the region.

On Tuesday, Murphy, who worked at the Pentagon under then-President George W. Bush, weighed in on her bill.

“China’s self-serving efforts to project power in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico—a region of great importance to the United States—have the potential to threaten our national security, our economic prosperity, and our democratic values,” said Murphy. “As America and China compete across nearly every functional and geographic domain, it is critical for U.S. policymakers to understand what China is doing in the region and to have an effective strategy in place to counter China’s aggressive conduct and to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its actions.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday. So far, there are no House cosponsors and no companion measure in the U.S. Senate.

Murphy is a possible candidate for statewide office in 2022, including potentially challenging U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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