Warner, Rubio team up on Senate bill to stop Chinese tech threats

A bipartisan effort is underway in the Senate to create a new office to combat security threats. (Pixabay)

Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner introduced a bill on Friday designed to guard against state-sponsored technology threats.

The bill seeks to create a White House office, which would be called the Office of Critical Technologies, to coordinate efforts across government agencies by developing a unified strategy, according to a story today by Reuters.

Warner is a Democrat and vice chairman on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, while Rubio is a Republican on the same panel.

The bill was designed to combat the theft of technologies and threats to national security that are posed by China and other foreign actors, according to a press release.

“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,” Warner said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the Executive Branch and others to coordinate and respond to this threat.”

Last year, the Trump administration banned the use of telecom gear by China's Huawei and had a similar ban in place against China-based ZTE before lifting it late last year. Huawei is contending that the U.S. will fall behind in the race to deploy 5G because its gear is more advanced than Ericsson's and Nokia's.

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Warner and Rubio said the White House office created by the bill would ensure that critical U.S. supply chains, both government and nongovernmental, would not be jeopardized by a reliance on foreign manufacturers, according to Reuters.

The bill was put forth against the backdrop of a trade war between China and the U.S. that has included tariffs by President Trump. The Trump administration has accused China of attempting to steal technology from U.S. companies.