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NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka and other New Jersey leaders joined U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) on Monday in calling for government and businesses to work together to safeguard American innovation from China’s economic aggression, unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. 

Sherrill, a member of the newly created House Select Committee on China, held a Trenton news conference with manufacturers, business leaders, labor union officials, state lawmakers and higher education leaders to underscore the threat that the Chinese Communist Party’s “Made in China 2025” campaign poses to U.S.’s economic and national security.  

The Leading Global Innovation Resolution, which Sherrill announced she is introducing in Congress, is part of the broader American Jobs and Competition Plan and builds on the CHIPS and Science Act, Inflation Reduction Act, and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that strategically invest in key industries and workforce training initiatives to outcompete this Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strategy.   

“Because they can’t outwork or out-innovate the United States, the CCP’s plan to get ahead relies on unfair trade practices, forced labor, poor environmental standards and stolen research and intellectual property with the ultimate goal of undercutting and bankrupting America,” Sherrill said. “All U.S. firms, from our big chip manufacturers like Intel to our small businesses here in Trenton are CCP targets for disruption, espionage, IP theft and commercial coercion,” Sherrill said.  

Despite U.S. actions in recent years to safeguard investments in global innovation and technology, the CCP is escalating its efforts to dominate these sectors, such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, Sherrill said. The CCP has utilized unfair trade practices, such as demanding intellectual property transfers and raiding foreign businesses, along with espionage tactics. 

Public institutions, businesses of all sizes, academic institutions, and workers are at risk and should be take action to mitigate risks, while Congress should support leveling the economic playing field alongside diplomatic and military missions,” Sherrill said. 

Siekerka, a board member of the National Association of Manufacturers, noted manufacturers have been urging Congress to strengthen U.S. national security, bolster the economy and protect American innovation. NAM has urged a new approach to the U.S.-China relationship – one that is coordinated with allies and aimed at boosting national security and economic competitiveness. 

“China is not a fair competitor,” Siekerka said, particularly when it comes to theft of intellectual property. “In 2009, I had the opportunity to be in China and to speak with businesses who were there trying to compete, and they told horror stories … you can’t win in a China court with a U.S. patent.”  

Sherrill’s American Jobs and Competition Plan, and the Leading Global Innovation Resolution are the right approach because it underscores the need for comprehensive solutions, Siekerka said. She noted that China is a necessary partner on global issues and a critical market for certain manufactured goods. 

“Through this resolution we can move forward comprehensive policies to help manufacturers grow, invest and hire here in the U.S., thus, unleashing the power of manufacturing in America,” Siekerka said. “NAM’s ‘Competing to Win’ agenda is an example of comprehensive policies to advance the goals of this resolution forward.”

Also joining Siekerka at the congresswoman’s news conference were three members of NJBIA’s board: Clifford F. Lindholm, III, president & CEO, Falstrom Company; Anthony Iacono, Ph.D., president, County College of Morris; and Gail Friedberg Rottenstrich, CEO & co-founder, ZAGO Manufacturing. 

Photo caption: (L-R) NJBIA Chairman of the Board Clifford F. Lindholm III, NJBIA Board Member Gail Friedberg Rottenstrich, NJBIA Board Member Anthony Iacono, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka.