Biden’s Proposed $6.8 Trillion Budget Includes Billions to Counter China
- March 10, 2023
- Posted by: Quatro Strategies
- Category: Legislation
The Biden administration’s $6.8 trillion budget plan that has been proposed on Thursday includes billions in support for Indo-Pacific allies to help counter China’s influence in the region, through infrastructure investments and other support. Acting Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Bass said Washington’s competition with Beijing was “unusually broad and complex” and justified new forms of funding. The administration’s budget proposal faces stiff opposition from Republican lawmakers, although party leaders generally support efforts to counter China.
“Our approach towards the generational challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) focuses on investing in our own domestic capabilities, aligning our efforts with those of allies and partners and competing with the PRC where interests and values differ,” Bass said.
The budget proposal for 2024 includes $400 million for a fund to “counter specific problematic PRC behaviors globally,” according to a State Department fact sheet.
Bass further stated that the administration is requesting mandatory spending, in addition to traditional discretionary funding, including $2 billion to support infrastructure projects and $2 billion to strengthen Indo-Pacific economies and support partners to push back against China.
Moreover, the budget proposes funding to boost U.S. presence in the Pacific Islands, where China has been trying to exert its influence.
Although the U.S. funding will likely pale in comparison to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, officials believe that Washington’s efforts are focused on high quality infrastructure and spur private sector investment.
“We are not looking to match China dollar for dollar, in part because any number of Chinese investments… don’t make a lot of commercial sense,” Bass said.
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