On Monday, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gavin Clarkson released an op-ed in the Washington Examiner outlining a strategy for China to pay for the COVID-19 epidemic.
Clarkson cites a study that shows if China had acted just three weeks earlier, it could have reduced 95% of COVID-19 cases. But a new government report released Wednesday allegedly proves what many have suspected: China lied about how bad the virus was, and thus caused tens of thousands of casualties across the globe.
Clarkson’s plan to get China to pay for the Chinese virus begins with a recommendation to President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to immediately extract reimbursement, starting with the $1.1 trillion in U.S. Treasury Department bonds Communist China currently holds.
The Washington Examiner piece contends that President Trump’s national emergency declaration on March 13, 2020, due to COVID-19 triggers additional powers, namely the ability to confiscate foreign assets under 50 USC § 1702(a)(1)(C). “Pursuant to that statute, seized assets can then be liquidated and the proceeds used to further the interests of the United States. Under my proposal, FSIA immunity is irrelevant,” writes Clarkson.
Clarkson shows that such action has precedent, such as the United States’ actions with Iran, where the Supreme Court upheld Congress’s authority to prevent Iran from suing in Bank Markazi v. Peterson, 136 S. Ct. 1310 (2016).
Under Clarkson’s plan, the U.S. Treasury should “electronically confiscate all U.S. Treasurys currently held by China and make it illegal for China to buy, hold, or sell U.S. Treasuries going forward.” Under the action, these prohibitions would apply to any subsidiary or agent of China’s Communist Party.
Because U.S. Treasury bonds are recorded electronically, “with just a few keystrokes” the bonds can be confiscated by the Depository Trust Corporation, as the paper notes can be marked no longer valid.
Clarkson’s out-of-the-box idea shows how the United States can pay for essentially half of the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed last week through COngress, as well as reprimand China for their irresponsibility handling the coronavirus pandemic.