U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz was one of 15 Republican lawmakers named to the House Republicans’ China Task Force on Thursday.
“Coronavirus has been a wake-up call to America that the Chinese government is not our friend — in fact, it’s actually the most threatening adversary America has ever faced,” Waltz said. “In Congress, it’s important we craft policy to put America’s interests first and curb China’s growing power.”
A news release said the task force will serve as a clearinghouse for ideas on China policy, including the Chinese Communist Party’s influence activity, supply chain dominance and infiltration and intellectual property theft at American universities.
The group is made of GOP lawmakers who hold seats on 14 committees of jurisdiction to coordinate policy on China.
Waltz has been among China’s most vocal critics since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, he introduced legislation to reduce China’s hold on pharmaceutical supply lines by bringing drug manufacturing back to the U.S. He has also filed a bill to curb China’s theft of American academic research by blocking the Defense Department from funding research at any university participating in China’s “Thousand Talents Program.”
Last month, he said China has a troubling amount of influence over the World Health Organization, pointing to praise the country has received for “transparency.” The country has been accused of manipulating data to downplay the number of cases and deaths caused by the new coronavirus.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called Waltz “an excellent fit for this important task force.”
“Though new to Congress, he has already spent over 20 years serving his country as an Army officer, including multiple combat tours overseas in the elite Green Berets,” McCarthy said.
“As a warrior and a policymaker, he understands that our present challenge goes well beyond defeating a single pandemic and that there is no substitute for victory. I know he will act as a ‘force multiplier’ for the task force and play a vital role in the success of its crucial mission.”