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Rodgers and Rush Urge Commerce Secretary Raimondo to Secure U.S. Innovation and Emerging Technology Leadership


Washington, D.C.—Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Democratic Chair of the Energy Subcommittee Bobby Rush (D-IL) sent a letter today urging Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo to address the need for increased U.S. leadership in the innovation and deployment of emerging technologies. Last year, Energy and Commerce led the way in enacting the American Competitiveness Of a More Productive Emerging Tech Economy (COMPETE) Act, which provides a unique role for the Secretary of Commerce to plot a path for America to beat China in emerging technologies.  

Excerpts from the letter: 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen just how helpful and impactful these  emerging technologies can be. Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping to stem the tide of scams and  misinformation being shared across the internet. AI also is helping to develop automated driving systems that are delivering essential goods to families in need with contactless delivery. Blockchain technologies offer innovative solutions to secure consumer privacy, and three-dimensional (3-D) printing is being used to address shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

That is why, last year, we passed H.R. 8132, the American Competitiveness Of a More Productive Emerging Tech Economy (COMPETE) Act. With unanimous approval in the Committee on Energy and Commerce and then on the House floor, the “American COMPETE Act” was included in the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021,” enacted at the end of the Congress. The legislation provides a unique role for the Secretary of Commerce to plot a path for U.S. competitiveness for emerging technologies. The Secretary is asked to look at the state of AI, quantum computing, blockchain, new and advanced materials, Internet of Things (IoT), IoT manufacturing, 3-D printing, as well as unmanned delivery systems, and then report recommendations to Congress.  

We are looking forward to hearing from you on how we can grow the U.S. economy through the advancement of these technologies, develop national strategies to advance the U.S. global position on these technologies, develop strategies to mitigate current and emerging risks to the marketplace and supply chains of these technologies, and how to incentivize expeditious adoption of such technologies. 

As you know, the U.S. is at risk of losing our competitive advantage in these sectors to China. The Chinese government launched Made in China 2025, a strategy to surpass our advanced technology industries. Through Made in China 2025, China is looking to continue to further bridge together manufacturing and smart technologies through IoT and become the global leader in the space. China also is predicted to outmatch the U.S. in blockchain innovation and deployment and become the global leader of the technology. Last year, the Chinese government launched the Blockchain-based Service Network, a platform led by China’s State Information Center aimed at providing small and medium sized enterprises the ability to use the technology and build decentralized apps – not only in China, but all over the globeMaintaining U.S. leadership in these technologies is essential for our American economic security. 

CLICK HERE to read the letter.