Following our recent overview of key topics to watch in the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) for Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2024, available here, we continue our coverage with a “deep dive” into NDAA provisions related to the People’s Republic of China (“China” or “PRC”) in each of the House and Senate bills. DoD’s focus on strengthening U.S. deterrence and competitive positioning vis-à-vis China features prominently in the 2022 National Defense Strategy (“NDS”) and in recent national security discourse. This focus is shared by the Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (“Select Committee”), led by Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).
It is no surprise, then, that House and Senate versions of the NDAA include hundreds of provisions—leveraging all elements of national power—intended to address what the NDS brands as China’s “pacing” challenge, including many grounded in Select Committee policy recommendations. Because the NDAA is viewed as “must-pass” legislation, it has served in past years as a vehicle through which other bills not directly related to DoD are enacted in law. In one respect, this year is no different—the Senate version of the NDAA incorporates both the Department of State and Intelligence 2024 Authorization bills, each of which includes provisions related to China.