Washington, D.C. — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today cosponsored bipartisan legislation to help combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors like China. The bill would create an Office of Critical Technologies & Security at the White House responsible for coordinating across agencies and develop a long-term, government-wide strategy to protect against state-sponsored technology theft and risks to critical supply chains.
“The United States must sharpen efforts to address technology threats from China and other nations that undermine our economic and national security, erode democratic norms, and leave vulnerable our supply chains,” Bennet said. “Successfully combatting these threats requires a long-term strategy for maintaining U.S. competitiveness in technologies of the future. We must work across public and private sectors to galvanize efforts that ensure our technological competitiveness.”
“Colorado’s surging tech industry is a source of innovation for our country and has a role to play in this effort to enhance our nation’s competitiveness,” Bennet continued.
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, coordinated at the federal level, is necessary to combat these threats and ensure our national security.
The bipartisan 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, nongovernmental 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.
Companion legislation has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.
The bill text is available HERE.