The ongoing effort to hold China accountable for devastating coronavirus losses got a boost with new legislation from Rep. Mo Brooks who says the Communist Party of China (CPC) should be subjected to 10% tariffs if they don’t pay restitution to Americans.
“It’s quite clear that China has engaged in negligent, reckless or intentional misconduct concerning COVID-19 that has caused the trillions of dollars in losses in America,” Brooks, R-Ala., told Fox News in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “Therefore, China should be held responsible for reimbursing America’s losses.”
Brooks’ legislation – which faces an uphill climb in the Democratic-controlled House – would establish an immediate 10% tariff on all products manufactured in China and imported into the United States if China doesn’t pay up. The tariff money would be directed into a new COVID–19 Restitution Trust Fund, modeled after the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, that would pay businesses and families who suffered death, sickness and financial losses from coronavirus.
The money would also be spent on reimbursing federal, state and local governments for their COVID-19 response efforts.
“If you had a car wreck and you hit somebody and it was your fault, you’d be expected to reimburse the injured party for the damages suffered,” Brooks told Fox News. “It should be no different with respect to China.”
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., wants China to pay restitution to Americans for coronavirus losses.
Brooks’ legislation comes as House Republicans are re-upping their efforts to put pressure on Democrats and the Biden Administration to take concrete steps against China for its coronavirus response. They are holding a GOP hearing today at noon on the origins of coronavirus to hear from expert witnesses, including Brett P. Giroir who was COVID-19 testing czar during the Trump administration.
Brooks said he’s convinced the coronavirus pandemic was unleashed by China from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. But even if the lab leak theory is found to be untrue, Brooks said China still is financially accountable for spreading a naturally occurring virus “because of the way in which China lied about the physical attributes of COVID-19 and helped to spread COVID-19 by allowing its citizens to engage in such extensive international travel while infected.”
More than 600,000 American lives were lost during the coronavirus pandemic and businesses and workers suffered severe financial hardship during prolonged government shutdowns.
The exact origin of the virus is unclear, but President Biden last month ordered an intelligence investigation into the onset of the virus, including any possibility it leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.