Sun, Jan 06, 2019 - Page 16 News List

US tech transfers to China targeted by proposed bill

Bloomberg

The US has not done enough to counter the use of technology transfers and supply chain infiltration from countries such as China, leading to a grave national security risk, two US senators said.

US senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio have proposed legislation requiring the White House to establish an “office of critical technologies and security” to guard against state-sponsored technology theft and risks to supply chains that provide technology to US consumers.

The pair are also taking aim at foreign products, such as those manufactured by Chinese telecommunications companies ZTE Corp (中興) and Huawei Technologies Co (華為), which have come under fire in the US as threats to national security.

“It is clear that China is determined to use every tool in its arsenal to surpass the United States technologically and dominate us economically,” Warner, a Democrat, said in a statement on Friday. “We need a whole-of-government technology strategy to protect US competitiveness in emerging and dual-use technologies and address the Chinese threat.”

The bill would add to a broader effort by US President Donald Trump’s administration to clamp down on what it says is China’s aggressive strategy to boost its technological know-how, often at the expense of US companies.

China’s technology transfers are a significant national security risk, the senators said in the statement, adding that the US is also facing major challenges to the integrity of key supply chains as a result of reliance on foreign products.

“China continues to conduct a coordinated assault on US intellectual property, US businesses, and our government networks and information with the full backing of the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio, a Republican, said in the statement. “The United States needs a more coordinated approach to directly counter this critical threat.”

The proposed critical technologies office would coordinate efforts between the US National Security Council (NSC) and the US National Economic Council (NEC) to counter these threats, according to the text of the bill.

It would also be expected to warn US consumers and business executives about the risks posed by Huawei and ZTE.

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