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Rubio, Scott, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Reestablish DOJ’s China Initiative

Mar 31, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced the Protect America’s Innovation and Economic Security from CCP Act. The bill would reestablish the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) China Initiative under a new name, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Initiative. The China Initiative was a national security program established in 2018 to defend against espionage and influence campaigns of the CCP occurring across the nation, especially at our leading research universities and government agencies.
 
Last week, Rubio led colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to recognize and reprioritize the threat of the CCP following the China Initiative’s cancellation. In a speech at the Heritage Foundation, he called again for its reinstatement, saying, “we can’t let partisan politics or our culture wars get in the way of national security.” 
 
Rubio is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Ranking Senate Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. 
 
“The Department of Justice canceled the China Initiative because a band of woke activists smeared it as racist and xenophobic. In the meantime, the espionage and influence campaign of the Chinese Communist Party continues to permeate our nation’s leading research institutions, exploiting our openness to steal our brightest ideas and most valuable technology,” Rubio said. “The Chinese Communist Party is the single greatest threat to our national security, and it was a foolish decision to divert resources from confronting this threat. We need to restart this important national security initiative right away.”
 
“We know that the Communist Party of China will stop at nothing in its mission for global dominance – and the Biden administration cannot afford to be naïve to the national security threats we face. It is unconscionable that the Biden administration ended the DOJ’s efforts to hold Communist China accountable for U.S. trade secret theft and economic espionage,” Scott said. “I’m proud to lead this bill to reestablish the CCP Initiative, which will again be dedicated to protecting the United States’ intellectual property and our academic institutions from spying and interference by one of our greatest adversaries. Communist China has started the new Cold War with the United States – it’s our duty to protect our critical infrastructure and private sector, and take action to counter Communist China’s economic warfare.”
 
“America remains the most innovative country in the world, but the Chinese Communist Party is relentlessly trying to cheat American businesses by stealing their information and technology to fuel its repressive regime and compete against us,” Hagerty said. “FBI Director Wray tells us that the Bureau opens a new Chinese spying case every 12 hours, and yet the Biden Administration is ending the Department of Justice initiative focusing on this unparalleled threat to our national and economic security. This legislation would prevent this misguided decision and ensure that combatting CCP espionage remains a top priority.”
 
“To continue to be the most innovative country in the world, we must take action to protect our intellectual property from the Chinese Communist Party, which has shown time and again they don’t play by the rules,” Braun said.
 
“The Biden administration’s policies have reversed President Trump’s America first agenda to actively enable the New Axis of Evil – Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China,” Blackburn said. “Instead of continuing the China Initiative – an important program which identified and prosecuted those engaged in trade secret theft, hacking, and economic espionage – Biden is choosing to make the United States less secure. This legislation will continue a vital program to keep America safe by stopping the Chinese Communist Party from undermining our economic stability and national security.”
 
“The Biden administration ended the CCP Initiative which the Justice Department used to investigate how China steals our intellectual property through universities. It’s outrageous. President Biden’s continued display of weakness to the world is tempting our adversaries to take advantage of the moment,” Johnson said. “We must protect American technology and innovation and hold the Communist Party of China accountable for any attempt at theft. I am happy to support this bill that will reestablish the CCP Initiative in order to protect American institutions and intellectual property from this threat to our national and economic security.”