Barrasso Blasts Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen For ‘Bowing Down’ To China

In an interview on Fox News on Sunday, Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso accuses Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen of “bowing down repeatedly” to China during a recent visit to the country.

Leo Wolfson

July 10, 20234 min read

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen bowed several times fast when meeting a Chinese government official.
U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen bowed several times fast when meeting a Chinese government official. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso accused Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen on Sunday of repeatedly “bowing down” to China during a recent visit to that country.

“Never again can we allow ourselves as a nation to be dependent on them (China) for anything,” Barrasso said on Fox News Sunday. “To see Secretary Yellen there bowing down repeatedly in China, it’s embarrassing and it’s emblematic of this administration.”

Yellen took a more optimistic tone after her visit to China, saying “that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive.”

She spent 10 hours meeting with top Chinese officials over two days in Beijing. 

Although there were no formal agreements that came out of the trip, Yellen said the countries have committed to more frequent communication moving forward.

She also made it clear that President Joe Biden’s administration has serious concerns about many of China’s commercial practices and treatment of foreign companies, behavior it has described as economic coercion. 

Barrasso said Biden is playing right into China’s hands with the way his administration is approaching relations with the country.

He mentioned how just a few days before Yellen’s visit, China announced it would restrict the exports of two metals key to the manufacturing of semiconductors and solar panels. The new regulations will require exporters to seek a license to ship some gallium and germanium compounds starting Aug. 1, China’s commerce ministry said. 

Declining Relations

Over the past decade, there has been a documented trend of China spying on the United States for trade secrets and other military-related gains. In the past year alone, a Chinese spy balloon flew over the U.S. and was shot down by the American military, and the two countries each escalated restrictions on trade.

The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that China also is the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environments. 

“This foreign policy, it’s a national security disaster,” Barrasso said.

There have also been instances of Chinese foreign nationals buying farmland in America, although their exact connections to the Chinese government are unknown.

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Less Dependence

The American and Chinese economies are deeply interwoven, making up about 40% of the global output. 

Barrasso wants the United States to become less dependent on China by diversifying its supply chain. He criticized how Biden is shutting down some energy production in return for more green-friendly endeavors. 

Barrasso believes this agenda makes America poorer and China richer. 

Biden has argued these efforts are part of a long-term energy transition that will make America a green energy stronghold down the road.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is traveling to China later this month to restart climate negotiations with China, which Barrasso sees as a continued “surrender.”

Show Muscle

Barrasso believes America needs to show strength amidst China’s growing relationship with Russia and other threats from the country.

“Not this slow surrender that I see from this administration,” he said.

On the CBS news program “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Yellen acknowledged Chinese concerns about looming U.S. restrictions on investment in China and said that she tried to explain that such measures would be narrowly targeted at certain sectors and would not be intended to have broad effects on China’s economy. 

Although Barrasso has supported Ukraine in its war with Russia, he said Biden needs to hold other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) accountable for giving more financial support for Ukraine to match America’s efforts. Barrasso said Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t be stopped until it happens forcibly. 

Biden will attend a NATO summit this week in Lithuania.

Barrasso said Ukraine should be given a pathway to joining NATO but only after its war with Russia completes, a viewpoint shared by Biden.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter