Bennet, Sasse, Warner Unveil Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Technology Competitiveness

New Office Would Analyze U.S. Leadership in Key Technologies Relative to Competitors Like China to Inform Policy, Boost American Tech Leadership

Washington, D.C. – Today, members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and SSCI Chairman U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), unveiled the American Technology Leadership Act, legislation to establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis to assess how the United States fares in key emerging technologies relative to other countries to inform policy and strengthen U.S. competitiveness. Bennet plans to advocate for the bill’s inclusion in the Fiscal Year 2023 Intelligence Authorization Act.

“To compete with countries like China, we have to secure U.S. leadership in critical emerging technologies, such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence,” said Bennet. “Today, we have no idea where the United States stands in these growing sectors compared to our competitors and adversaries. Our bipartisan legislation would fuse information across the federal government, including classified sources, to help us better understand U.S. competitiveness in technologies critical to our national security and economic prosperity and inform responses that will boost U.S. leadership.”

“We are currently in a tech war with China, and the urgency to keep the upper hand is growing,” said Sasse. “Staying technologically competitive needs to be our top priority, which is why we need to assess how we compare with other countries technologically and which technologies matter most to our economic and national security. We’re going to need to stay sharp and creating an office to focus on global competition is just one step that helps us stay ahead of our competition.” 

“As we compete to supply the world with cutting-edge technologies, we don’t have a meaningful way to track how our progress stacks up against China’s in advancing the technologies of the future. Establishing an Office of Global Competition Analysis will help fill this knowledge gap and allow us to better compete on the world stage,” said Warner. 

Today, there is no federal entity responsible for assessing U.S. leadership in key technologies relative to strategic competitors like China. Although the Department of Defense evaluates how our battleships, tanks, and aircraft compare to other nations, there is no equivalent process for critical technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, despite their far-reaching consequences for America’s national security and economic prosperity. 

The Office of Global Competition Analysis would be staffed by experts from the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and Defense, along with the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The new Office could also draw on experts from the private sector and academia on a project basis, and the legislation allows it to leverage the capability of an existing Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The Office would support both economic and national security policy makers. The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), National Economic Council, and the National Security Council (NSC) would jointly manage the office and set priorities and project requirements.

Specifically, a technology net assessment capability will enable the U.S. government to:

  • Identify which technologies will matter most to America’s economic and national security;
  • Evaluate America’s technology leadership relative to other countries; and
  • Determine the appropriate policy response to ensure U.S. leadership.

The American Technology Leadership Act builds on Bennet and Sasse’s provisions to establish a National Technology Strategy and a new Technology Competitiveness Council at the White House.

The bill text is available HERE. A one-page summary of the bill is available HERE.