Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement after the Senate adopted his Motion to Instruct (MTI) Conferees to include language in the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4251) to establish a counterintelligence screening process to protect American taxpayer dollars, intellectual property, research and development, and innovation efforts against China. Last year, the Senate rejected Rubio’s amendment to establish such a process to combat the Chinese Communist Party’s economic espionage and misappropriation of billions of taxpayer dollars.
“We need safeguards in place to protect American research,” Rubio said. “I am encouraged that my colleagues recognize the need for a counterintelligence screening process, and I look forward to working with the conferees to ensure the language actually protects American dollars and this important research.”
Rubio spoke on the floor before the vote. A video of Rubio’s remarks can be found here and a transcript of his speech as delivered is below:
I don’t think anybody at this point is unaware that China steals the things that we in America innovate, our research, our ingenuity, our products, our secrets. They steal it.
So we’re about to spend tens of billions of dollars on research. If we’re going to do that, I think we should take steps to make sure the tens of billions aren’t also stolen. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, and most people would agree, to spend all of this public money on research without enough protections to keep the Chinese from stealing it.
So what this Motion to Instruct would do is ensure that the government undertakes a counterintelligence review to certify that entities that are getting this public money — either through direct funding or through intellectual property developed as a result — have national security protections against the theft of American research and resources.
What this would ensure is that there are protections in place to strengthen the bill’s research funding accounting requirements in section 2307, and to ensure review of the funding for University Technology Centers [in section 2104].
If this bill is to truly be [the] America COMPETES Act, we need to make sure that America’s funding, and grants, and other taxpayer resources are not going to be stolen by our adversaries to beat us using our own money.
I ask my colleagues to vote “yes” on the Motion to Instruct.