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Lankford, Colleagues Protect Sensitive US-International Research from Chinese Communist Government

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Angus King (I-ME) and Representatives Susan Wild (D-PA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced legislation to protect sensitive US research from foreign adversaries, while also securing America’s valuable international partnerships that spur technological innovation. The legislation will advance key technology research in areas such as artificial intelligence and quantum science with trustworthy international partners while simultaneously securing these advancements from rival nations who seek to steal American technological breakthroughs, which was a deficiency of the recently passed US Innovation and Competition Act opposed by Lankford.

“Bad actors like China, Russia, Iran, and others may try to intimidate and isolate us and our allies through hacking, intellectual property theft, and other threats to our national security and information security, but we won’t be bullied out of international innovation opportunities,” said Lankford. “We should grow our relationships with trustworthy allies to collaborate and advance US interests in international research and development by using consistent security protocols, not avoiding engagement.” 

“American researchers are responsible for some of the world’s most cutting-edge research in key technological fieldsgood, and it is critical that we protect our breakthroughs from rival nations who would seek to steal our advances and turn them against us,” said King. “At the same time, it is clear that American scientists benefit greatly from working relationships with international colleagues. Our bipartisan, bicameral bill will promote the best parts of these collaborations in secure channels, boosting key research while also protecting our breakthrough findings from rivals who seek to profit off of the United States’ hard work.”

“Securing American research from bad actors is key to our national security and competitiveness,” said Wild. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation takes meaningful steps to reinforce American collaboration with our allies, while also ensuring experts develop and implement best security practices to protect our research enterprise. My district is home to innovative research centers, whose work has the capacity to forge new industries, contribute to national security, and create good-paying jobs. I’m proud to help lead this effort with them in mind.”

“In order to ensure the Free World, and not the Chinese Communist Party, leads the way in developing the new technologies of the future, we need to pool our resources and build collective resilience across our societies,” said Gallagher. “This starts with common-sense security standards to ensure that our adversaries are not benefiting from sensitive research.”

“As Congress focuses on boosting US advanced industrial competitiveness to meet the China challenge, it is critical to not only expand support for R&D and other related policies but to ensure the US government works more closely with our allies to collaborate on advanced technology programs and policies,” said Dr. Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). “Given the complexity of technology and the scale of the China challenge, the United States cannot afford to go it alone. That is why this bicameral, bipartisan bill to enable and direct more international technology cooperation with our key allies is so important and why ITIF fully supports this legislation.

The bll would require the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Security Council, the Secretary of Energy, the Director of the National Science Foundation and the heads of other relevant agencies, to create a list of allied countries with which joint international research and cooperation would advance US national interests and advance scientific knowledge in the key technology focus areas. Agencies would then be required to work with listed allies to develop general security policies and procedures to prevent sensitive governmental, academic, and private sector research from being disclosed to adversaries. The Department of State will then be required to provide a report to Congress within a year identifying the most promising international research ventures leveraging resources and advancing research in key technology focus areas.