Welcoming Speech: Judy Chu | SVIEF
9:11PM Sep 29, 2018
us china relations
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, let's kick off the forum. Now, many of you may know that Congresswoman Judy Chu is an old friend of SVIEF. And she's also the honorable chairwoman of SVIEF and a big supporter of innovation. Now Judy attended SVIEF almost every year in the past seven years. Now, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Judy Chu, Congresswoman of United States and honorable chairwoman of SVIEF.
Well, thank you so much for having me here at this wonderful conference that now is is in its eighth year, the Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum. As the honorary chair, it is so wonderful to be able to welcome you to this great event. In fact, I have invite and been been invited for eight years to this event. And I have come all eight times and I have been proud to see how much growth there has been in this forum. Now I understand you have 4000 people attending and it just shows that you are fulfilling a great need out there in the Silicon Valley, if not the nation.
A great thing about what you're doing is you are bringing attention to the transformative role of new technology. And that is one of the reasons why I have been a long supporter of this effort. Entrepreneurism drives us forward. And so I want to make sure that I am able to help the next engineer or business person through programs that will make them successful, and especially in programs that provide access to capital. So let me tell you what is going on with a couple of issues in Washington, DC with work with regard to access to capital. One of those is the EB 5 program.
For years. The EB 5 program has encouraged investment in businesses here by providing conditional permanent residency in those in in the US for those from abroad, who make investments in new businesses that create jobs. And the investment is $1 million dollars or 500,000 in high need areas. It has been a successful program for certain projects, but it is not perfect. I think that we should continue this program and that we should be able to reform it so that it can perform as well as it should. But it needs to be reauthorized. And instead of taking series action, Congress simply extended this program until December as part of a continuing resolution just this week. So far debates on extending the EB 5 program have revolved around disagreements on how to reform it. But I do believe that with those reforms that we can make sure that more projects can have the access to capital that they need to be able to advance the the the economy of America and also benefit those from foreign countries and from China.
In the meanwhile, on the domestic front, I am on the house small business committee. And I'm very pleased to report that my bill which would increase access to capital for startups did pass out of the house. We know that 70% of small businesses are turned away by banks for conventional loans. And this is particularly difficult for startups.
So that's why the Small Business Administration decided to start the Small Business Investment Companies program, or SBIC. And it is an investment program for those kind of businesses that would not otherwise have the necessary the track record that would allow them to get a conventional loan. And the SBA guarantees the funds of anybody who invests in such programs.
As a result, it has been able to bring forth some incredible companies. In fact, it was in 1978, when SBIC funded bank award at 500,000 to a small computer startup, an investment that might have been risky at some other time. But with that 500,000, Apple computers became what it is now. And of course, is worth over $1 trillion. And Tesla actually benefited from this company as well. But the company was restricted in the amount of funds that it could get from banks and from Federal Savings Associations. My bill lifts the cap in how much these institutions can invest. Thank goodness, this bill has now passed out of the house, and it's awaiting some action by the Senate. And after that we will have more money's available for startup businesses.
Let me also say that the situation in Washington DC with regard to US China relations is at a very difficult point right now, I think that US and China have had positive economic relationships for years. And I would like to see that relationship continue. I am a member of the powerful ways and means committee in whose jurisdiction is the issue of trade, I have spoken out in my committee to protest the lack of coherent strategy in the tariffs that President Trump has levied against China, first 50 billion, and now $200 billion.
But I think it only will result in hurting jobs in America. In fact, I have an example in my district, I have a company called iRobot, it makes the robot vacuum cleaner the Roomba and it employs 675 Americans. But though the engineers and scientists who developed it are here, the Roomba itself is produced in China, which means that they will now have to pay a 25% tariff when they import their product for sale in the US. That to me, is not a smart policy. And that's why I will continue to press to make sure that we have a fair trade policy that will improve relations between the US and China.
I I thank you.
I am also extremely concerned about the targeting of Chinese scientists and engineers and students as being spies for China. For many decades, Chinese American scientists, engineers and students have contributed so much to America. But now we have a president that is actually saying that all Chinese students are spies for China. Of course, we know this is a horrible stereotype. This is not true. And this is a hysterical thing that can hurt so many people's lives. And in fact, just recently, there was a bill that was a must pass bill called the National Defense Authorization Act and Republican Congress member Gallagher put into amendments that would have cast suspicion on Chinese American professors in our universities, and another amendment that would have said that all Chinese students should be under surveillance for just being in America. And so I rushed down to the floor to stop these amendments. And as a result of my actions, those amendments were stripped out of the bill. So yes, we are safe from that.
So I want to guarantee to you that I will take vigilant action against these kinds of efforts. We should not cast aspersions on entire groups of people and cast them as something other than what they are other than contributors to America. So let us work together and we have a productive relationship between US and China. And let us make sure that all our entrepreneurs can be as successful as they can be.
Thank you and I would like to present certificates of congressional recognition to the leaders of today's event. If I could bring up Vice President waging of the Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum and also founding partner Dr. Anjia Gu of DHVC, please come forward and accept these certificates of congressional recognition for your incredible contributions to this event.