Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Bill
To Combat Chinese Tech Threats to National Security
On Friday, bipartisan legislation was introduced by Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Committee member Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors like China, while ensuring U.S. technological supremacy by improving interagency coordination across the U.S. government.
Specifically, the bill creates an Office of Critical Technologies & Security at the White House responsible for coordinating across agencies and developing a long-term strategy to protect against state-sponsored technology theft and risks to critical supply chains.
“It is clear that China is determined to use every tool in its arsenal to surpass the United States technologically and dominate us economically. We need a whole-of-government technology strategy to protect U.S. competitiveness in emerging and dual-use technologies and address the Chinese threat by combating technology transfer from the United States, ” said Sen. Warner, a former technology and telecommunications executive. “We look forward to working with the Executive Branch and others to coordinate and respond to this threat.”
“China continues to conduct a coordinated assault on U.S. intellectual property, U.S. businesses, and our government networks and information with the full backing of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Sen. Rubio. “The United States needs a more coordinated approach to directly counter this critical threat and ensure we better protect U.S. technology. We must continue to do everything possible to prevent foreign theft of our technology, and interference in our networks and critical infrastructure. By establishing the Office of Critical Technologies and Security, this bill will help protect the United States by streamlining efforts across the government. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to enact this legislation and guard against these national security threats.”
China and other nations are currently attempting to achieve technological and economic superiority over the United States through the aggressive use of state-directed or -supported technology transfers. At the same time, the U.S. is also facing major challenges to the integrity of key supply chains as a result of reliance on foreign products that have been identified as national security risks. A national response to combat these threats and ensure our national security has, to date, been hampered by insufficient coordination at the federal level.
The Warner-Rubio bill would guarantee that there is a federal entity responsible for proactively coordinating interagency efforts and developing a national strategy to deal with these challenges to our national security and long-term technological competitiveness. Under the bill, the Office of Critical Technologies & Security would be directed to coordinate and consult with federal and state tech and telecom regulators, the private sector, non-governmental experts and academic stakeholders, and key international partners and U.S. allies to ensure that every available tool is being utilized to safeguard the supply chain and protect emerging, foundational and dual-use technologies. The Office would also be responsible for raising awareness of these threats and improving the overall education of the American public and business leaders in key sectors about the threats to U.S. national security posed by the improper acquisition and transfer of critical technologies by foreign countries and reliance on foreign products – such as those manufactured by Chinese telecom companies ZTE and Huawei – that jeopardize the overall security of private sector supply chains.
Sen. Warner, a former telecommunications executive and entrepreneur, has long expressed concerns about the risks to our national security posed by Chinese-controlled telecom companies. On October 12, 2018, Sen. Warner and Sen. Rubio sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging his country to reconsider Huawei’s inclusion in any aspect of Canada’s 5G development, introduction, and maintenance. Warner has also urged the Administration to work with our allies to combat these technology threats. Sens. Warner and Rubio are also the authors of bipartisan legislation to enforce full compliance by ZTE with all probationary conditions of a U.S. Commerce Department’s deal struck with the company last year that ended U.S. imposed sanctions.
For a copy of the bill text, click here.
In The News
WASHINGTON — Government employees tasked with detecting and countering the threat posed to the nation by weapons of mass destruction continue to suffer from low morale and ambivalence about their mission, a new government report shows. The report from the Government Accountability Office is a follow... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Three years ago, the World Economic Forum estimated the global cost of corruption to be at least $2.6 trillion, or 5% of the global gross domestic product. From illicit finance to bribery and graft, financial crimes have generally been viewed as regulatory issues, but... Read More
WASHINGTON — In the fourth session of their ongoing virtual national security briefing series entitled “National Security in the Shadow of COVID-19,” Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and John Katko, R-N.Y., hosted retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to discuss how the national security environment has evolved due... Read More
WILMINGTON, Del. - President-elect Joe Biden unveiled several of his top national security picks on Monday, his campaign revealing he will nominate Avril Haines to be his director of national intelligence and Alejandro Mayorkas, to be his secretary of Homeland Security. In both cases, the nominations... Read More
Federal agencies are bolstering arsenals of tear gas, sponge-tipped bullets and other crowd-control gear after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. agents to assume new policing powers in cities to quell protests that he said threatened government monuments, statues and property. The Justice Department, Homeland Security, and... Read More
WASHINGTON — Billions of dollars included in Senate Republicans’ proposed $1 trillion installment of coronavirus emergency relief funding would restore money for military hardware that was redirected to pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall. The Trump administration reprogrammed funding for a slew of ships, aircraft... Read More