Warner & Rubio Urge Biden Admin to Prevent Flow of U.S. Innovation to China's Military Industrial Complex
Feb 21 2023
WASHINGTON – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote to the Biden administration to request that it expand the use of existing tools and authorities at the Departments of Treasury and Commerce to prevent China’s military industrial complex from benefiting from U.S. technology, talent and investments.
In a pair of letters, the Senators expressed concern with the flow of U.S. innovation, talent, and capital into the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which seeks to exert control over global supply chains, achieve technological superiority, and rise as the dominant economic and military power in the world. They also stress the need to utilize the authorities at the government’s disposal to protect U.S. interests and ensure that American businesses, investors, and consumers are not inadvertently advancing China’s authoritarian interests or supporting its ongoing genocide in Xinjiang and human rights abuses in Tibet and Hong Kong.
In their letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the Senators wrote, “It is widely known that the PRC’s Military-Civil Fusion (MCF) program targets technological advancements in the U.S., as well as university and research partnerships with the U.S., for the PRC’s military development. U.S. technology, talent, and capital continue to contribute—through both lawful and unlawful means, including theft—to the PRC’s development of critical military-use industries, technologies, and related supply chains. The breadth of the MCF program’s ambitions and reach creates dangerous vulnerabilities for U.S. national and economic security as well as undermines respect for democratic values globally.”
The Senators also posed a number of questions for Sec. Yellen regarding Treasury’s internal Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) lists, which do not include a number of entities and individuals who have been identified by the U.S. Government as posing national security risks or human rights concerns.
In their letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the Senators wrote, “Despite recent restrictions on the export of sensitive technologies critical to U.S. national security, we remain deeply concerned that American technology, investment, and talent continue to support the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) military industrial complex, intelligence and security apparatus, its ongoing genocide, and other PRC efforts to displace United States economic leadership. As such, we urge the Department of Commerce to immediately use its authorities to more broadly restrict these activities.”
The Senators also requested answers from Sec. Raimondo regarding America’s most critical high-technology sectors, the Department’s ability and authority to evaluate companies’ reliance on China and assess the flow of U.S. innovation to PRC entities.
A copy of the letter to the Department of Treasury is available here. A copy of the letter to the Department of Commerce is available here.