Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley pushed legislation Tuesday that would make it more difficult for American tech companies to export their technology to China.
Hawley’s bill, which has few details, would require President Donald Trump to restrict any technology to China that would contribute to the communist country’s military. The Republican’s legislature would also place heavy restrictions on technology that influences artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and robots. It also would restrict any kind of tech that China might use to violate human rights.
“It’s time we realized China is not one threat among many, China is the biggest national security threat facing the US,” Hawley wrote in a tweet Tuesday. His legislation comes as the U.S. continues to fight with China over which country will beat the other in building up fifth generation mobile service. (RELATED: Trump Makes A Big Push For 5G As Some Republicans Lobby For Nationalizing Such Technology)
Today I’m introducing legislation to stop China from taking our technology to build its military. It’s time we realized China is not one threat among many, China is the biggest national security threat facing the US https://t.co/WESCZUAHBY
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 14, 2019
Much of the disagreements between the U.S. and China over trade involve the latter’s policies governing intellectual property. China requires American automakers to tether themselves to Chinese companies as a condition of doing business inside the country, a burden many critics believe allows Beijing to obtain American tech.
The rules also tend to have negative impacts for people inside China, media reports show. Volkswagen, Tesla, BMW, Daimler, Ford, and GM, for instance, are among 200 companies transmitting position information and other data to government-backed monitoring centers, a November 2018 Wall Street Journal report notes. The information is regularly cobbled and delivered without citizen’s knowledge.
There’s also concerns that China will leapfrog the U.S. as both countries work at breakneck pace to build out 5G. China, which is one of the few countries able to manufacture the tools needed for a 5G build out, outspent the U.S. by $24 billion and has built 350,000 new wireless towers since 2015, according to Deloitte Consulting’s research.
Hawley, for his part, is trying to make a name for himself as a go-to lawmaker on matters pertaining to tech issues. He proposed a bill May 8 that seeks to ban “pay-to-win” apps targeted at children, which pay for upgrades and other rewards even though the applications are initially provided for free. Hawley cited Candy Crush as one of the biggest culprits of leveraging children’s willingness to learn for profit.
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