U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio helms the Senate Small Business Committee — and on Thursday he outlined his agenda in that role.
“America’s small businesses represent economic dynamism and a sense of community that is often missing from American life. Amidst rapid technological advances, shifting global economic trends, and rising foreign adversaries, we must fight to protect our small businesses,” Rubio said.
To that end: five bills that the Senator said “are aimed at encouraging American entrepreneurs to innovate, thrive, and grow so that we can keep our economy competitive on the global stage.”
Primary among the bills is one targeting “rising foreign adversaries”, barring Small Business Administration help from going to China “by preventing loans and guarantees – money intended to stimulate the growth of American businesses – from going into the pockets of Chinese-owned firms.”
Rubio has sounded the alarm against China of late, including castigating the Donald Trump administration for being too accommodating to telecom colossus ZTE.
“It sounds like science fiction, but it is an all out effort,” Rubio said about Chinese influence peddling last year. “When you lift the veil on this, you realize what you’re confronting … It’s not paranoia, it’s a real thing.”
Rubio’s position has not changed. In a Fox News op-ed Thursday, the Senator railed against “China’s blatant interference in our economy … industrial espionage and coercion, which threatens our very economic framework and national prosperity.”
Beyond keeping American incentives for American companies, Rubio pushed bills in the package that would offer free credit reports and credit protections for businesses after data breaches, and loans for small businesses impacted by travel alerts (such as some Florida businesses have been by Zika outbreaks).
Other bills would give small businesses voices in the formulation of regulations, and would strengthen the SBA’s Advocacy Department.
Rubio has been stalwart in drawing the connection between economic security and national security. To that end, the health of American small business is clearly a big deal for Florida’s senior Senator.