What to Know in Washington: Exports Key to Raimondo’s China Trip

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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is in China this week for a four-day visit, the first by a commerce chief in seven years.

Though Washington is seeking to expand business ties between the two largest economies — even as government relations remain shaky — Raimondo signaled to her hosts the US won’t compromise on national security.

Raimondo told reporters before departing she’ll communicate on national security but won’t negotiate.

“I’m also very realistic and clear-eyed about the challenges,” Raimondo told reporters ahead of her trip. “I will make clear on this trip, as my colleagues have done, that protecting our national security is first and foremost our top priority.”

Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg

Raimondo is expected to announce working groups on export controls and US-Chinese commercial relations, which drew a rebuke from Republicans in Congress, who warned Raimondo against allowing China to weigh in on US export policy.

Still, Raimondo avoided setting expectations for breakthroughs on export controls — where US curbs on investment in some Chinese tech firms have angered Beijing — and other core disputes.

Her goals are to explain the US export-control regime, raise key commercial issues on behalf of American businesses and labor, promote people-to-people exchange with a focus on travel and tourism, and “expand and strengthen channels of communication between the US and China,” she said in a briefing before her trip. Read more from Mackenzie Hawkins and Daniel Flatley.

Read the latest from Raimondo’s trip:


  • Around noon, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit a D.C. public school to welcome students back to school.
  • Around 6 p.m., Biden delivers remarks at a reception to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will give a 1 p.m. briefing alongside Director of the Office of Public Engagement Stephen Benjamin.

Around the Administration

Biden to Ask Congress to Fund New Covid Shots

Biden said the White House would request additional money from Congress to fund the next round of coronavirus vaccine shots. Any request would likely face steep opposition from Republicans who have accused Biden of asking for unnecessary pandemic-related funding.

Covid Aid Found to Cover $27 Million in Iffy Funeral Costs

A lack of guardrails within FEMA’s Covid-19 funeral reimbursement program led to $26.9 million in potential fraud and abuse, a government watchdog says.

Chamber Stands by Bid to Pause Medicare Drug Price Talks

The Chamber of Commerce and several of its affiliates asked a federal judge to reject the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss the business group’s lawsuit seeking to halt Medicare’s drug price negotiation program.

Biden Worried About Possible UAW Strike

Biden said he was speaking to the United Auto Workers union, which is locked in contentious negotiations with General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis over a new contract, and expressed worries about a potential strike.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union that the three major carmakers should sit down with the union and “negotiate a contract that is fair to workers” in order to avoid a strike.

Harris, Yellen to Hold Call on Empowering Workers Today

Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will host a call today to make an announcement on the administration’s commitment to empowering workers, according to a statement.

Biden Permitting Plan Needs Legal Clarity

Former federal permitting officials came forward on Saturday to offer ideas on how the White House Council on Environmental Quality can refine its proposed environmental permitting rule to provide more legal clarity.

On Congress’ Agenda

BGOV OnPoint: Tuberville’s Abortion Fight Imperils DOD Nominees

Lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill next week will have to contend with more than 300 military nominations — including four nominees for the Joint Chiefs of Staff — that have been held up by one key senator over the Pentagon’s abortion policy.

National Vehicle-Mileage Fee Hangs in Balance

The Biden administration, under congressional pressure to shore up funding for the nation’s highways and bridges, is more than a year and a half late in taking a key step toward testing a fee that reflects Americans’ increasing move toward electric vehicles.

Energy Exports on Agenda for G-7 Meeting

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he plans to promote US natural gas exports at a meeting with his G-7 counterparts in Japan. McCarthy said the meeting of parliamentary speakers would discuss energy policy and framed his agenda in the context of Europe’s efforts to wean itself off Russian gas.

Grassley, Smith Press IRS for Details of Missing Taxpayer Data

GOP lawmakers want answers from IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel on how the agency responded to a watchdog report that identified significant deficiencies in how it accounts for and stores backups of sensitive taxpayer information.

Politics, Probes & 2024

Republicans Make Early Pick of Houston as 2028 Convention Host

Republicans will hold their 2028 national convention in Houston, the party announced Friday in an unprecedented move to pick its next convention city even before they’ve held their 2024 Milwaukee convention.

Trump Raises $7.1 Million as Georgia Arrest Rallies Supporters

Former President Donald Trump raised $7.1 million since his arrest in Georgia on Thursday as his campaign sought to capitalize on the mug shot taken at a Fulton County jail.

DeSantis Super PAC Plans $25 Million Ad Blitz

A super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is reserving $25 million worth of TV time in Iowa and New Hampshire, its biggest ad blitz yet as the fight for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination enters a new phase after Labor Day.

Harris Taps Wall Street, Hollywood Ties to Deliver Biden Donors

Harris draws unfavorable marks from more than half of Americans, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a prolific fundraiser for Biden’s reelection campaign.

Biden Says Special Counsel Hasn’t Asked to Interview Him

Biden said “there’s no such request and no such interest” for him to sit for an interview with the DOJ’s special counsel regarding his previous handling of classified materials.

To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com; Katrice Eborn in Washington at keborn@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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