Sullivan, Barrasso Introduce Bill to End China’s Unfair Advantage

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced legislation, the Ending China’s Unfair Advantage Act, to end American taxpayer handouts to China. The Ending China’s Unfair Advantage Act prohibits U.S. funding going to the Montreal Protocol, a United Nations (UN) treaty, until China is no longer treated as a developing country. Currently, China is defined as a developing nation under the Montreal Protocol. This allows China to abide by a different set of rules and access funding—including American taxpayer dollars—from the multilateral fund. 

“China is the second largest economy in the world. China is one of the most industrialized countries in the world. China has one of the biggest militaries in the world. The World Bank now even considers China to be an ‘upper middle income’ country. The idea that China is a ‘developing country’ is ridiculous,” said Sen. Sullivan. “We cannot continue to allow China to exploit this status under international organizations and treaties to syphon off funds—much of it coming from U.S. taxpayers—intended for truly needy countries. The Senate is united in this regard, and I’m glad to put forward legislation with Senator Barrasso to end this charade once and for all.” 

“China is the second largest economy in the world – a far cry from a developing country. There is no reason why China should get to play by a different set of rules, let alone get a handout paid for by American taxpayers,” said Barrasso. “The United States Senate recently voted unanimously in agreement that China should not be defined as a developing country. Our bill forces the United Nations to do the right thing and end this unfair advantage for China.” 


  • Under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, developing countries are eligible for financial assistance through a special multilateral fund. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the fund, giving nearly $1 billion.  
  • China has received nearly $1.4 billion from this multilateral fund over the years, due to its status as a “developing” country under the Montreal Protocol. 
  • The U.S. is required to phase down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, by 85 percent by 2036 and China has until 2045 to reduce HFC use by 80 percent. China is given an extra decade, under the Kigali Amendment, to produce HFCs. It is also allowed an extra 5 percent in HFC production and consumption. 
  • Earlier this month, Senators Sullivan, Barrasso and Lee introduced amendments that would have conditioned Senate approval of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on the removal of China being defined as a developing country. 
  • On September 21, 2022, the Senate passed Senator Sullivan’s amendment by a vote of 96-0. It declared that China is not a developing country and the UN and other intergovernmental organizations should not treat China as such. It also conditioned the Senate’s ratification on the administration submitting a proposal to remove China as a developing country before the meeting next year of the parties to the Montreal Protocol.

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