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Rubio, Scott, Colleagues Reintroduce American Security Drone Act
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and colleagues in reintroducing the bipartisan American Security Drone Act. The bill was first introduced in September 2019, and was reported out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in the 116th Congress.
In addition to Rubio and Scott, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).
“Chinese companies routinely steal U.S. intellectual property and seek to undermine our national security,” Rubio said. “The national security risks associated with Chinese manufactured drones are well known, and a number of federal agencies have already taken steps to mitigate this threat. The American Security Drone Act would make sure that American policies do not invite this malicious behavior from the Chinese Communist Party by prohibiting taxpayer dollars to be used to buy drones from Chinese companies or other foreign adversaries.”
“I’m proud to join my colleagues to reintroduce my American Security Drone Act, which will help protect our national security and the privacy of American citizens by prohibiting the federal government from buying drones manufactured by our adversaries,” Scott said. “I’ve been very clear about the threat we face from technology companies controlled by Communist China, which is known for espionage and theft of technology. For too long, the United States has used taxpayer dollars to buy drones from companies backed by the Communist Chinese Government, allowing one of the United States’ biggest adversaries into the most sensitive areas of our government and putting our national security at risk. There’s absolutely no reason we should allow this to continue. We must pass the American Security Drone Act immediately.”
“In no way shape or form should we be using taxpayer dollars to purchase drones from foreign adversaries—especially countries like China that have stolen sensitive information from us in the past,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to reintroduce the American Security Drone Act that bans this practice and in turn supports U.S. manufacturers and our national security.”
“China has stolen sensitive drone technology from America’s businesses and military for years, and now sells it back to us from a dominant position in the commercial drone market,” Cotton said. “Relying on drones made by our adversaries is a clear risk to our national security. This bill will ensure that all drones purchased by the U.S. government are made right here in America, or else by friendly nations that don’t wish us harm.”
“For decades, the Chinese Communist Party and its companies have stolen America’s sensitive technology and used it to boost their military and economy,” Hawley said. “It has to end. We must take this common-sense step of banning the federal acquisition of drones from nations like China to strengthen our supply chains and better protect our national security.”
The American Security Drone Act:
- Prohibits federal departments and agencies from procuring certain any foreign commercial off-the-shelf drone or covered unmanned aircraft system manufactured or assembled in countries identified as national security threats, and provides a timeline to end current use of these drones.
- Prohibits the use of federal funds awarded through certain contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to state or local governments from being used to purchase foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones or covered unmanned aircraft systems manufactured or assembled in a country identified as a national security threat.
- Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress detailing the amount of foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones and covered unmanned aircraft systems procured by federal departments and agencies from countries identified as national security threats.