On Fox Business, Portman Highlights New Legislation to Combat National Security Threats from Chinese Communist Party

June 23, 2020 | Portman Difference

In an interview with Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria this morning, Senator Portman, as chair of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), highlighted various PSI investigations that he has led that have exposed the national security threats posed by China. Specifically, Portman discussed the bipartisan Safeguarding American Innovation Act, legislation he introduced last week to help stop foreign governments, particularly China, from stealing American taxpayer-funded research and intellectual property developed at U.S. colleges and universities.  Portman, led a year-long investigation into this issue culminating in a bipartisan report and hearing that detailed how American taxpayers have been unwittingly funding the rise of China’s military and economy over the last two decades while federal agencies have done little to stop it.

Portman also discussed the need for foreign competition for China’s state-owned telecommunications companies considering PSI’s recent PSI’s bipartisan investigation and report detailing the national security threat posed by Chinese state-owned telecommunications carriers operating in the United States and how the federal government provided little-to-no oversight for nearly twenty years. As demonstrated in recent PSI investigations, China routinely exploits the American education and scientific research sectors to further its national interest and engages in cyber-attacks against U.S. companies, like Equifax and Marriott.

Excerpts of the interview can be found below and a video can be found here.

PORTMAN ON NEW BIPARTISAN SAFEGUARDING AMERICAN INNOVATION ACT TO STOP THEFT OF U.S. RESEARCH & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:

“Maria you are absolutely right, and what is happening, is and it’s been happening for two decades, the Chinese government, and really the Chinese Communist Party when you look back at who is behind this, has been systematically targeting promising American research and researchers, paying them to take that research to China. Not telling either the taxpayer funded institutions like the National Institutes of Health, which just fired 54 of their researchers, 90 percent of whom had ties to China. Not telling the universities or other research institutions, like the Cleveland Clinic in my home state Ohio, where recently someone was arrested for taking over $3 million from China. China set up a replica lab for them in China, they actually took the samples, biological samples from Cleveland to China, so this has been happening for a long time we’ve got to shut it down our legislation is the Safeguarding American Innovation Act. We introduced it last week, it’s bipartisan. We need to pass it. It would address all of the issues we just talked about including foreign governments influence in schools.”

PORTMAN ON IMPORTANCE OF HAVING WESTERN COMPETITORS TO CHINESE TELECOM COMPANIES:

“I would like to see us send a really strong market signal, and that means, that we are open for business. We want competitors. We just finished an investigation, as you know of Chinese telecom companies here in the United States. We found out that one that was under investigation, was being removed from the market but there were three that were not and they have been here for two decades. And all the indications we got in our investigation, was that this was a national security risk for the United States because that data was likely being transferred back to China, and specifically the Chinese Communist Party in involved with these telecom companies. So, I think it’s a real problem. I think the market signal would be that if Nokia and Ericsson continue to develop this technology to compete with Huawei, that they have a market here in the United States. That’s probably a better way to do it. But we do need to be sure that the western world has an alternative.”

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