U.S. House Passes Spanberger’s Bipartisan Legislation to Secure American Supply Chains, Keep U.S. Telecommunications Competitive in the Face of Foreign-Based Threats

The ICT Strategy Act Would Help Build a National Strategy to Strengthen the Economic Competitiveness of U.S. Information & Communication Technology Vendors, Reduce Dependence on Foreign Resources & Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s bipartisan Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy Act.

The Spanberger-cosponsored ICT Strategy Act would help build a national strategy to reduce American telecommunications companies’ reliance on technology from untrusted foreign sources — while also strengthening domestic information and communications supply chains. Additionally, it would require the federal government to identify concrete actions it can take to increase the economic competitiveness of trusted vendors.

“Americans have seen the impact first hand of cyberattacks on American supply chains and critical infrastructure, and many are also rightly concerned about vulnerabilities in the U.S. information and communication technology industry. Today, the U.S. House passed the ICT Strategy Act and took a step toward building a whole-of-government approach that addresses these risks and strengthens resilience here at home,” said Spanberger. “Our legislation would take stock of critical information and communication technology and make sure that American companies can stay competitive and safe in an evolving field — while also reducing our dependence on companies that could pose a threat to our national security due to their close ties to foreign governments. I am proud to see our bipartisan legislation advance through the U.S. House, as I have long pushed to take the risks associated with vulnerable supply chains seriously and with urgency.”

“I am thrilled that this bipartisan piece of legislation has passed the House of Representatives with wide support. The passage of this legislation brings us one step closer to making sure our nation’s information technology supply chains are secure and free from dependence on foreign countries like China. We need to continue to work in a bipartisan manner to ensure that the whole-of-government strategy that is created through this legislation is properly implemented. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure this legislation becomes law,” said Long.

The bipartisan legislation is also cosponsored by U.S. Representatives Jerry McNerney (D-CA-09) and Buddy Carter (R-GA-01).

Specifically, Spanberger’s ICT Strategy Act would:

  • Require the U.S. Department of Commerce to submit a report to Congress one year after enactment that would:
    • Assess the competitiveness of the U.S. information and communications technology industry,
    • Assess the dependence of these vendors on untrusted foreign actors, and
    • Identify potential steps by the federal government that can reduce the dependence of information and communications vendors on untrusted, foreign-based companies.
  • Require the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a whole-of-government strategy that will bolster the economic competitiveness of U.S. information and communications vendors and reduce their reliance on foreign resources.

BACKGROUND

Spanberger has long worked to advance bipartisan legislation that can fix vulnerabilities across U.S. telecommunications systems and keep American companies competitive. In March 2020, President Trump signed into law Spanberger’s bipartisan bill requiring a national strategy to protect American 5G telecommunications systems from foreign-based threats.

In January 2020, Spanberger spoke out after the U.S. Department of Commerce had reportedly withdrawn proposed regulations preventing U.S. companies from selling certain technologies to the Chinese firm Huawei, which has close ties to Chinese military and intelligence agencies.

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