Today the U.S. Senate passed a long-awaited $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, called the "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act." One provision in this bill is of particular interest for trade with China, as it requires a report within 120 days on forced labor in the electric vehicle sector in China. If the bill becomes law and this provision remains in the legislation, it could have an impact on the competition between the United States and China in this sector, but the timing of passage of the law and its final content are uncertain at this point.
The provision states:
STUDY ON IMPACT OF FORCED LABOR IN CHINA ON THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE SUPPLY CHAIN.
Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary [of Energy], in coordination with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, shall study the impact of forced labor in China on the electric vehicle supply chain.
In terms of the future of this legislation, CNN explains that: "The House of Representatives will likely not take up the bill until the fall. The House is out for August recess and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that the chamber won't take up the bipartisan bill until Senate Democrats pass a separate and more expansive package without GOP votes under the budget reconciliation process, ... ."