WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo outlining his priorities for the department. In his letter, Senator Scott urges Secretary Raimondo to stand up for American jobs, hold Communist China accountable, advocate for U.S. growers and farmers, bolster the space industry, March 29, 2021
The Honorable Gina Raimondo
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20230
Dear Secretary Raimondo:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me last month prior to your confirmation about your priorities for the Department of Commerce. I appreciated our discussion about the threat of Communist China, the need for strong trade enforcement measures, ways to bolster America’s space industry, and the importance of growing America’s economy.
The Department of Commerce has an increasingly important role in protecting Americans and America’s national security from the threat posed by Communist China and other adversaries. Earlier this year, I introduced the Entity List Verification Act to ensure that we hold accountable any foreign entity involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the U.S. I have also introduced the American Security Drone Act to prohibit the U.S. Government from purchasing drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats. We know that our adversaries across the globe, especially Communist China, will use every resource available to steal American technology, jobs and intellectual property in an effort to dominate the world. That is why companies owned by our adversaries, such as DJI and Huawei, should stay on the entity list. It is my expectation that the Department of Commerce will prioritize these efforts to protect America’s national security.
As you know, in 2019, the Department of Commerce finalized a Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico, which, according to the Department of Commerce, “completely eliminates the injurious effects of unfairly priced Mexican tomatoes” and “protects U.S. tomato producers from unfair trade.” However, it is my understanding that there is a growing list of violations of the agreement by Mexican tomato producers and their importer partners in the U.S., and to date, no disciplinary action has been taken by the Department of Commerce against those violators. If the Department of Commerce does not take action, the Mexican tomato industry will be emboldened to ignore the terms of the Tomato Suspension Agreement, and violations will quickly grow to the point where the Suspension Agreement is useless in preventing injury to the U.S. tomato industry. In your role as Secretary, I urge you aggressively enforce U.S. trade laws to remedy the hurt done to American farmers and businesses. I further urge you to take action now to stop violations of the Tomato Suspension Agreement and protect America’s producers.
America is also entering a new era of space exploration, but we are competing against known adversaries like Communist China and Russia in the space launch industry, and we must put American interests and national security first. I co-sponsored the American Space Commerce Act to bolster the domestic space industry and to ensure the U.S. remains a leader in space exploration. In your role as Secretary, I hope that you work diligently to support commercialization of the space industry and support rules and regulations that make it easier for domestic space launches to occur, while prioritizing security and American manufacturing.
Finally, as the U.S. works to end the pandemic and reopen our economy, it is important that the Secretary of Commerce support policies that will actually help strengthen American jobs and foster long-term economic growth, while opposing polices that will kill jobs, hurt small businesses, spur inflation, and exacerbate Washington’s already out-of-control pattern of spending. President Biden has already advocated for policies that would devastate the American economy, including a $15 minimum wage and progressive climate plans that kill good-paying American jobs. The last thing we need is greater unemployment and more families struggling to get by. I expect you to be an advocate for economic growth and responsible spending of taxpayer dollars, and that you will stand up to President Biden when his proposed policies hurt American jobs.
As the new Secretary of Commerce, it is my expectation that you will do everything in your power to protect national security and American jobs, and spend taxpayer dollars in the interest of American families.
United States Senator