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Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA) is lending his support to a bipartisan effort to secure America's information and communication technology supply chain.  The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy Act was introduced by Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) and endorsed by Reps. Jerry McNerny (D-CA) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA).

“We must never be too dependent on China or other adversarial countries for critical infrastructure,” said Rep. Carter.  “This bipartisan legislation will not only identify the risk but develop a strategy to secure supply chains for information and communications technology.  I look forward to advancing this important initiative and seeing it signed into law.”

“I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to lead the effort in passing the ICT Strategy Act,” 
said Rep. Long. “We need to make sure information technology supply chains are secure and we need to know how dependent U.S. information and communications technology companies are on foreign countries like China. This doesn’t just ask the federal government to conduct a study, it requires the federal government to come up with a real solution to securing this critical supply chain.”

“A comprehensive approach is essential to maintaining America’s leadership in the field of communications technology,” 
said Rep. McNerney. “By establishing a whole-of-Government strategy to assess our strengths and manage the challenges we’re facing, we can ensure the security of our information technology supply chains as well as our economic competitiveness in this area.”

“In recent months, our nation has seen firsthand the chaos caused by attacks against American supply chains, critical infrastructure, and government computer systems. Moving forward, we need to build a whole-of-government approach that both recognizes these risks and takes real steps to strengthen our resiliency here at home,” 
said Rep. Spanberger. “By taking stock of critical information and communication technologies and working to keep American companies competitive in this constantly evolving field, the Information and Communication Technology Strategy Act would help reduce our dependence on companies that could pose a threat to our national security due to their close ties to foreign governments. As a former CIA case officer, I take the risks associated with vulnerable supply chains seriously — and I am proud to help lead this bipartisan effort to fortify our nation’s communication networks.”

China overtook the United States in exports of information and communications technology in 2004 according to data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  U.S. intelligence officials have cautioned that reliance on Chinese manufactured technology opens users to Chinese espionage and censorship.  In 2018, the Department of Defense banned the sale and use of cell phones and modems made by Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE.

If enacted, the ICT Strategy Act would require the Department of Commerce to assess the competitiveness of and foreign dependence of American information and communications technology vendors.  Additionally the Department would be required to create a whole-of-government strategy to bolster the economic competitiveness these vendors while reducing their dependence on foreign resources.

The proposal has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on which Reps. Carter, Long, and McNerney serve.  Additional legislative action is expected in the coming weeks.