United States – US Representative John Moolenaar, a Republican from Michigan, will be the next head of the House select committee on China, stepping down from under Representative Mike Galagher, who announced last week to be leaving the office in Congress this month.

Bipartisan Leadership Praised

Mike Johnson, the speaker of the house, said in his statement on Monday that he appointed Moolenaar to be the chair of the bipartisan committee on strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party, praising the Michigan man in Congress for earning him “the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

“Our country, our economy, and our national security will be well-served by his wisdom and guidance in the ongoing work of this critical, select committee,” Johnson said, further adding that he will successfully take on the role after Gallagher had left Congress, as reported by Reuters.

The select committee has no legislative authority; however, throughout Gallagher’s time, it had become an effective high-level forum where lawmakers advance recommendations for maintaining the economic and national security of the U.S. with regard to China.

Bipartisan Collaboration Expected

Beijing is one of the few things that both factions of the deeply divided Congress come face to face with, wanting a more stringent

line of policy on the issue. Even at the strongly polarized Republicans and the Democrats, both parties call for taking measures to counteract China’s global influence.

Gallagher, who became the first person to be in charge of the said committee in 2023, announced that the panel would work closely with the Democrats, headed by Raja Krishnamoorthi, the ranking member of the said panel.

In the announcement, Moolenaar expressed his excitement about collaborating with Krishnamoorthi to help the United States “win the competition against the CCP.”

Some political committee staffers from both parties told Reuters that they believed Moolenaar’s appointment demonstrated a positive signal about the continuity of bipartisan cooperation on China issues.

A member of the Aide asserted that Moolenaar shared Gallagher’s view for the future of the committee and that he was primarily concerned with the economic challenge posed by China and a supporter of American manufacturing, as reported by Reuters.

Focus on Economic Challenges

Michigan is a U.S. state where few large domestic automakers are based. They have expressed their concern that the American manufacturing industry could be set backward by a possible flood of low-cost Chinese imported electric vehicles. Moolenaar has jumped in the rank of other lawmakers by asking the American government to increase the current 27.5% tariff on Chinese vehicles as well.