Rubio, Warner propose fighting China’s tech threats with new ‘Office of Critical Technologies & Security’

January 07, 2019

Editor's note: The Rubio/Warner proposal to create an Office of Critical Technology is interesting. Reporting directly to the President is a tactic to permanently increase the profile of the issue. However, the ideal scenario may be that the Dept of Commerce be the agency that strategically advances US manufacturing and technology dominance.

Two U.S. senators on Friday introduced legislation that aims to fight China’s technology threats by creating a new “Office of Critical Technologies & Security.”

[Victor Reklaitis | January 4, 2018 | MarketWatch]

The new federal entity would coordinate efforts across government agencies, and it would develop an integrated strategy to protect against state-sponsored thefts and risks to supply chains, according to the two lawmakers — Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, and Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat.

“It is clear that China is determined to use every tool to surpass the United States technologically and dominate us economically,” said Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in a statement.

“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.”

Rubio, a member of the intelligence committee, said establishing the office would help protect the country by “streamlining efforts across the government.”

The new office’s director would report directly to President Donald Trump, according to the bill’s text.

U.S. government officials and business leaders have repeatedly complained that Chinese companies steal technology from American firms. In a recent op-ed for MarketWatch, one manufacturing executive — Zach Mottl of Illinois-based Atlas Tool Works — praised Trump’s ongoing trade fight against China, saying he’s “finally confronting Beijing on its behavior.”

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