Congress should tackle America’s dependency on Chinese language expertise in protection invoice

While China might have lately closed the navy functionality hole, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has launched legislative language that would spoil the Chinese language Communist Get together’s predatory navy plans in a single fell swoop.

Constructing off the vital work of former President
Donald Trump
, who imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese language-made microchips, the senator’s
modification
to the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA) would limit the U.S. from buying microchips from firms that work with the CCP.

Microchips are what make a lot of America’s trendy warfare gear hum. But, the U.S. stays depending on
China
for its provide. That’s an issue when firms with ties to the CCP make them and promote them to contractors and suppliers working with the federal authorities. And it’s particularly an issue when the majority of China’s technique to defeat the U.S. navy hinges upon these chips.

In keeping with a brand new report launched in October by the Particular Aggressive Research Venture, China is searching for to make use of superior applied sciences to use navy pressure “with the purpose of eroding and even leapfrogging the USA’ navy strengths.”

China desires to develop into the “first movers” in “intelligentized warfare” — warfare that makes use of rising applied sciences equivalent to AI, 5G networks, and quantum computing to beat navy rivals — to supersede the U.S. because the world’s main superpower. And it’s developed a
Made in China 2025 highway map
to make turning into a worldwide chief in synthetic intelligence (AI), 5G wi-fi, quantum computing, and different associated industries a actuality in dangerously quick order.

Guess what expertise is critical to operationalize this intelligentized warfare
expertise
? You guessed it: microchips. So why would Congress enable the federal authorities to buy ones which have ties to the identical CCP attempting to make use of them to destroy America and its pursuits? That doesn’t sound protected — not by a protracted shot. It raises many points, together with however not restricted to the prospect of future provide chain issues and backdoors that would result in cyber-attacks and espionage.

Whereas either side of the aisle agree on the necessity to scale back dependency on these Chinese language-made chips, they’ve disagreed on the very best strategy.

Some opposed the CHIPS Act, which aimed to scale back dependency on this international expertise by bolstering U.S. manufacturing, as a result of they discovered its $250 billion price ticket too costly and too favorable to giant, rich companies. Sen. Cornyn’s NDAA proposal eliminates all these issues. It doesn’t spend a ton of cash we don’t have; it doesn’t even ban all microchips — it simply will get to the foundation of the issue by stopping microchips constructed by firms with identified ties from the CCP from coming the federal authorities’s method.

After listening to the chilling speeches and proclamations that got here out of the CCP’s twentieth Get together Congress final month, together with the occasion’s plans to prioritize tech and innovation for strategic functions, each legislator ought to agree that defending America from potential Chinese language expertise threats ought to be a high nationwide precedence. Passing the Cornyn modification to the NDAA could be an excellent place to begin.

Right here’s hoping the rational heads prevail. Our nationwide safety relies on it.


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Jon Schweppe is the director of coverage and authorities affairs for the American Rules Venture. Observe him on Twitter @JonSchweppe.



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