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American lawmakers are advocating for restrictions on the amount of money that US investors can put into Chinese technology companies.

American lawmakers are advocating for restrictions on the amount of money that US investors can put into Chinese technology companies.

On Wednesday, legislators in the United States reiterated their push for passing a bipartisan bill that would limit American investment in Chinese technology.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul stated at a hearing on Wednesday that it is not unexpected for China’s military and surveillance state to take advantage of gaps in U.S. policy in order to obtain billions of dollars in American investments and knowledge. It has been observed that U.S. investments have not led to China becoming a democratic nation, and countries under the control of the Chinese Communist Party have no control over how their technology is used. The CCP can direct this technology towards military or surveillance purposes against the U.S.

The legislation, which has been backed by both conservative groups and the Biden administration, was not included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was approved at the end of last year. A companion bill introduced by Republican Senator John Cornyn in the Senate received over ninety votes.

Legislators are optimistic that it can still be approved separately and signed into legislation.

Representative McCaul stated that if approved, the bill H.R. 6349 would focus on certain areas of technology, such as AI and quantum computing, which contribute to the advancement of China’s military and surveillance capabilities.

Representative Gregory Meeks, the leading member of the Democratic party on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stated that a decree issued by the Biden administration in August of last year “mandating guidelines and notification procedures for specific types of American investments in China, or in companies involved in the production of semiconductors, quantum computers, and artificial intelligence applications” is a significant initial action.

However, specialists in the field of U.S.-China relations informed a House committee that additional actions could be taken.

Matthew Pottinger, the former deputy national security advisor during the Trump administration, stated on Wednesday that Congress has the chance to expand on the initial measures taken by both the Trump and Biden administrations in order to prevent American capital from supporting the military and intelligence capabilities of China. He suggests that instead of focusing on individual entities, the United States should adopt a more comprehensive approach. The Treasury Department has shown little interest in using their limited authority to restrict investments in Chinese companies with military ties, which would be a time-consuming and overwhelming task to address on a case-by-case basis.

According to Republican Representative Chris Smith, we have yet to understand that other countries will exploit our sales of electronics and advanced technology for military purposes. This has been happening for many years, but we still fail to learn from it. We mistakenly believe that increasing trade will lead these countries to transition from dictatorship to democracy.

The U.S. House is making a joint effort while Senate negotiators focus on the White House’s $106 billion proposal to address national security concerns and counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Senate Republicans are requesting changes to immigration laws in exchange for approving over $50 billion in aid to Ukraine, which is also included in the Biden administration’s request, citing a crisis at the border.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged legislators to come to a prompt resolution.

McConnell stated that it has become trendy in Washington to discuss the lack of seriousness towards competing with China. He believes that winning this competition involves effectively preventing Beijing’s negative actions, which requires investing in the strength of America. Outdoing the People’s Republic of China will demand increased investments in our military capabilities and the ability to produce them through our industrial capacity. The West must not be caught off guard by this challenge and must not neglect the lessons of the past.