Senate Hearing Highlights U.S. Competition & Resiliency Challenges with China

Aug 10, 2020

by ASME.org

Chairing the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Security, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) stressed on July 30 the need for a bipartisan approach to implementing and executing strategies that allow the U.S. government to mitigate economic challenges posed by China’s increasing market power. The Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), reiterated the need for bipartisan action, while arguing that current Trump administration policies undercut American economic influence and political power.

 

Two panels included the following experts: Michael Wessel, Commissioner, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; Dr. Rush Doshi, Director, Brookings Institution Chinese Strategy Initiative; Nazak Nikakhtar, Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis, International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce; and Keith Krach, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, U.S. Department of State.

 

Under Secretary Krach clearly identified China’s importance to America’s economic prosperity and trajectory. However, he noted concerns related to U.S. intellectual property security, specifically citing data opacity at Huawei.

 

A key takeaway from the subcommittee hearing was the integral role of technology—and the race to harness its superiority—and the influence that has on facilitating U.S. economic growth and resilience. There was bipartisan focus on stressing the need for increased U.S. investment in U.S. technology development and research and development (R&D): Statements by and questions from Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Todd Young (R-IN) featured tech-advancement interest. 

 

As panelist Dr. Doshi expressed in his opening statement, “It is increasingly clear to most observers that China is pursuing a robust, state-backed effort to displace the United States from global technology leadership...Beijing believes that the competition over technology is about more than whose companies will dominate particular markets. It is also about which country will be best positioned to lead the world.” This summary was reiterated throughout the hearing, giving credence to concerns over a new, high-tech “Cold War.”

 

For more information, watch the full recording of the hearing.

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