Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis Opening Remarks on Competing with China

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered opening remarks at today’s subcommittee hearing titled “Economic Danger Zone: How America Competes to Win the Future Versus China.”

Excerpts and highlights below:


“Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the first hearing for the Innovation, Data, and Commerce subcommittee for the 118th Congress.

“I’d like to thank the Chair of the Full Committee for selecting me to Chair this important panel and I would also like to congratulate Cathy McMorris Rodgers for being the first woman to serve as the Chair of the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce – the oldest standing legislative committee in the House – and the best too I’ll add.

“I also want to identify our new Republican Members of the Subcommittee. Mr. Allen from Georgia, Mr. Fulcher from Idaho, Miss Harshbarger from Tennessee, Miss Cammack from the greatest state of all, Florida, and Mr. Duncan from South Carolina. I’m glad to see you have made your way back to this Subcommittee.

“Finally I want to thank my esteemed colleague, Tim Walberg from the great state of Michigan, for serving as Vice Chair of this Committee. I’m greatly looking forward to working with Mr. Walberg and appreciate his partnership.

“Ranking Member Schakowsky, I’m glad to see you leading this Subcommittee for our friends across the aisle. We worked very well together last Congress, moving important initiatives to the President’s desk. This included legislative wins like the INFORM Consumers Act, which will protect consumers from stolen and counterfeit goods online – including those coming from China, and my bill the RANSOMWARE Act, which requires the FTC to submit recommendations on how to make America more resilient from ransomware and cyber-attacks specifically from cross-border foreign threats like China and Russia.”


“Today’s hearing focuses on the greatest threat to our country right now – China. So, it is fitting that to begin the 118th Congress we focus on this threat and discuss how to recapture and maintain our global leadership.

“The CCP will stop at nothing to undermine our global leadership and weaken our economy. They have bought up our farmlands, stolen our intellectual property, and embedded themselves deep within many of our supply chains. Now they are turning their attention towards establishing the global standards for emerging technologies.

“The CCP has invested heavily in Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies. Paired with this investment, China is creating favorable environments for their private sector companies and entrepreneurs to deploy and test these technologies.”


“This has forced many American companies with a global footprint and American entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas to consider a hard decision: whether to move their operations from American to Chinese shores. It’s also allowing Chinese companies to invest and expand further, potentially endangering our own infrastructure and data security. Waiting any further on a national framework is weakening our stance by the day – and time is of the essence.

“It is imperative that this committee establishes foundational frameworks for deploying emerging technologies. We came close last Congress when we passed the bipartisan and bicameral American Data Privacy and Protection Act, but this Congress we need to ensure it gets across the finish line because China is not waiting on us to influence international norms and standards.

“I look forward to working with Chair Rodgers, Ranking Members Schakowsky and Pallone, and the members of this Committee to finish what we started. We need to get this done for the American people and ensure our nation remains a leader in global technology standards.

“The American people are the most innovative in the world. It is our job in Congress to ensure that we eliminate bureaucratic red tape that has too often hampered innovation in the marketplace.

“For something like Autonomous Vehicles, that will help Senior Citizens and Americans living with disabilities, it means reducing barriers to testing, and setting the standards for how they will be adopted across the world, and provide certainty for businesses and consumers.

“America’s global leadership depends on its people to be best in class, and we must give them the regulatory certainty on emerging technologies they need in order to live up to their legacy. If we fail, America will be left behind and our competitors like China will leave us in the dust.

“I am eager to hear from our panel of experts today on such a critical topic.”