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S. 3683 (116th): COVID-19 Accountability Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 11, 2020.

COVID-19 Accountability Act

This bill authorizes sanctions in relation to the Chinese government's response to the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak. It also increases the research tax credit and imposes requirements related to the acquisition of items for the Strategic National Stockpile.

The President shall periodically certify to Congress that the Chinese government (1) is cooperating with efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak, (2) has prohibited wet markets, and (3) has released and dropped all charges for anyone involved in protests in Hong Kong related to COVID-19. If the President cannot make such a certification, the President may (1) impose sanctions on Chinese government officials, entities owned or controlled by the Chinese government, and individuals affiliated with such entities; or (2) prohibit Chinese nationals from obtaining student visas (i.e., F and M visas) or exchange visitor visas (i.e., J visas).

With respect to the research tax credit, the bill increases the alternative simplified credit from 14% to 20% of qualified research expenses above a certain threshold.

The Department of Health and Human Services generally may not purchase personal protective equipment, critical medical supplies, or certain fabric products not produced in the United States for the Strategic National Stockpile. However, this restriction shall not apply if (1) there is not a sufficient amount of U.S.-produced items available at U.S. market prices when needed, or (2) the purchase is worth less than $150,000.