What Will Joe Say About China?
The most bipartisan issue is one where he seems reluctant to lead
The one big question going into tonight’s State of the Union ought to be: What will Joe Biden say about China, and will it be as unserious as this? Today the House Financial Services Committee is holding its first hearing under new chairman Patrick McHenry, and it has the luxury of a veneer of bipartisanship for consideration of some of its anti-CCP legislation:
Among the proposals: Imposing sanctions on companies tied to China’s military, admitting Taiwan to the IMF, banning use of the digital yuan by U.S. money services businesses and requiring Treasury to report on risks from the Chinese financial sector.
The experts McHenry lined up for the hearing include former White House, Treasury and Commerce officials. They will outline ways to counter China and make the case for balancing policies so they don’t backfire on the U.S. economy.
Clete Willems, former President Donald Trump’s sherpa to the G-7 and G-20, will tell the committee that it’s critical for the U.S. to play both defense to protect national security, with measures like outbound investment restrictions, while also going on offense to reduce reliance on Chinese supply chains and to open new markets for U.S. firms.
“At the same time as the United States is cutting off capital and technology, we must also be creating new opportunities for U.S. companies affected by these measures,” Willems said in prepared testimony.
You can expect Republicans to take swings at President Joe Biden for not intercepting the spy balloon sooner. But the saga hasn’t derailed the fact that China policy is one of the ripest areas for bipartisan cooperation in this Congress. If anything, the balloon has increased the urgency on both sides of the aisle.
You can watch the hearing here:
What Is Penske Media Company Doing?
So in case you haven’t noticed, the same company, Penske (PMC) now owns or has controlling interests in the following publications and websites: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Sportico, BGR, ARTnews, Fairchild Media, Vibe, IndieWire, Dirt, Artforum, Gold Derby, Spy.com, and Luminate, SHE Media, and Robb Report; as well as the events SXSW, music festivals Life is Beautiful, and LA3C, Latin Music Week, and the ATX Television Festival. Thanks to a January deal they also own Dick Clark Productions, which includes the Golden Globe Awards, American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance”, the Streamy Awards and more.
But Penske isn’t done. Yesterday they announced they’re now the largest shareholder in Vox Media via investment of $100 million, which means PMC now also has a major stake in New York Magazine, NowThis, Curbed, The Cut, The Dodo, Eater, Grub Street, Intelligencer, Polygon, Popsugar, Recode, SB Nation, Seeker, The Strategist, Thrillist, The Verge, Vox.com and Vulture.
From the outside, this looks like a path toward asset stripping and combining overlapping sites into single brands based on performance. But looking over this portfolio, it’s incredible to see virtually the entire Hollywood entertainment and cultural media space owned in whole or in part by just one company with a flamboyant but secretive billionaire racing scion as its owner.
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