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English/Español: Rubio, Scott, Diaz-Balart Urge Miami to Keep China Out of our Critical Infrastructure
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), and U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) urged Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to consider the economic and national security risks posed by contracting with Chinese-backed enterprises to carry out future infrastructure work.
Rubio’s letter comes after the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners voted last week to open up a competitive bidding process to consider proposals for a transit corridor between Miami and Miami Beach, prompted by an unsolicited bid proposed by a consortium of companies, including Genting and the Chinese manufacturing company BYD, to build a monorail system. Members of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization recently participated in a delegation trip to Asia, which included a tour of Chinese state-sponsored transit options.
Earlier this year, Rubio penned an op-ed in the New York Post outlining why major cities should think twice before allowing Chinese-sponsored entities to build and have access to our critical transportation infrastructure. Most recently, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved the Transit Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act (S. 846/H.R. 2739) as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (S. 1790/H.R. 2500), which would prohibit federal funds from being used to contract with Chinese state-sponsored entities for the procurement of rolling stock to finance future transit projects.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mayor Gimenez:
As Miami-Dade County explores enhancing local transit options for residents and visitors to alleviate congestion and improve mobility through execution of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan, we urge you to consider the potential dangers to U.S. economic and national security posed by contracting with Chinese-backed enterprises to carry out infrastructure work. While bids by Chinese state-sponsored and subsidized companies may appear competitive in cost, such bids may also expose Florida and our nation to significant risks.
In carrying out its “Made in China 2025” plan and the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese regime has made it a top priority to use state-subsidized manufacturing to predatorily dominate mass transit networks in the United States. This has been evidenced by Chinese state-sponsored companies winning bus and rail transit contracts in several major cities and opening domestic manufacturing operations in the United States. While we respect that local issues are to be decided by local officials, we nevertheless do have grave concerns related to embedding Chinese technologies and companies in critical infrastructure, including mass transit projects.
It is our understanding that members of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization recently participated in a delegation trip to the Indo-Pacific, including a tour of Chinese state-sponsored transit options. Of particular concern is the partnership between BYD and Huawei in the SkyRail autonomous driving monorail transit system. Huawei is a state-directed telecommunications company and an instrument of national power used by the totalitarian Chinese regime to undermine U.S. companies and other international competitors, engage in espionage on foreign countries, and steal intellectual property and trade secrets. The promotion of the SkyRail project is therefore especially alarming given the integration of Huawei’s network communications services into the monorail system. Furthermore, contracting with Chinese entities not only puts our critical infrastructure at risk for security vulnerabilities, but also undermines U.S. manufacturing and jobs in the process.
Both the U.S. Senate and House have recognized the potential dangers to economic security, national security, and cybersecurity posed by contracting with Chinese-backed enterprises. Recently, both bodies of Congress approved the Transit Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act (S. 846/H.R. 2739) as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (S. 1790/H.R. 2500). The Transit Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act will bar federal funding from being used by local transit agencies to contract with Chinese state-sponsored entities for the procurement of rolling stock. The measure also includes provisions to require transit operators to create and carry out cybersecurity plans aiming to prevent exposure to security threats. We will continue to advocate for parallel text in the final appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2020.
While we applaud the county’s efforts to modernize its mass transit system through implementation of the SMART Plan, we want to ensure that the safety of our state and nation are not traded away for a lower cost that puts our mass transit systems and individuals at risk. Thank you for your consideration of our concerns and we look forward to continuing this discussion.
Washington, DC – Hoy, los senadores estadounidenses Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL) y el representante estadounidense, Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) instaron al alcalde del condado de Miami-Dade, Carlos Giménez, a considerar los riesgos económicos y de seguridad nacional que representaría la contratación de empresas respaldadas por China para llevar a cabo futuros trabajos de infraestructura.
La carta de Rubio llega después que la Junta de Comisionados del condado de Miami-Dade votó la semana pasada para abrir un proceso de licitación competitiva para considerar propuestas para un corredor de tránsito entre Miami y Miami Beach, una oferta no solicitada la cual fue propuesta por un consorcio de empresas, incluyendo Genting y una empresa de fabricación china BYD, para construir un sistema de monorraíl. Los miembros de la Organización de Planificación de Transporte de Miami-Dade participaron recientemente en un viaje a Asia, el cual incluyó una visita a opciones de tránsito patrocinadas por el estado chino.
A principios de este año, Rubio escribió una columna de opinión en el New York Post explicando por qué las grandes ciudades deberían pensarlo dos veces antes de permitir que entidades patrocinadas por el estado chino construyan o tengan acceso a nuestra infraestructura de transporte. Recientemente, el senado de EE.UU. y la Cámara de Representantes aprobaron la Ley de Seguridad de Vehículos de Infraestructura de Tránsito (S. 846 / HR 2739) como parte de la Ley de Autorización de Defensa Nacional del Año Fiscal 2020 (S. 1790 / HR 2500), la cual prohibirá que se usen fondos federales para hacer contratos con entidades patrocinadas por el estado chino para la financiación de futuros proyectos de tránsito.
El texto completo de la carta en inglés está aquí.