As tension continues to build between the United States and China in the trade and technology sectors, concerned members of Congress are catalyzing efforts to bolster US security through legislative action. One of these proposed bills comes from Idaho Senator Mike Crapo who in 2019 introduced the MICROCHIPS Act, a bill focused on the security of technology supply chains against foreign actors. Co-sponsored by Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, this bipartisan legislation seeks to, “guard against attempts by the People’s Republic of China and others to undermine U.S. national security by exploiting and penetrating U.S. supply chains.”
Senator Crapo uses the legislation to address what he sees as “a lack of a coordinated, whole-of-government strategy to defend ourselves.” This legislation gives the US government a detailed framework to address Chinese supply chain threats, essential given the future build out of 5th generation wireless infrastructure across the country.
The MICROCHIPS Act would address China’s practice of four major non-kinetic areas of warfare, including supply chain exploitation, cyber-physical attacks on US systems, cyber-attacks on computer systems and cyber espionage. The Bill, S. 2316, contains the following components:
- Summarizes key findings of Congress regarding supply chain security;
- Directs the Director of National Intelligence, DOD and other relevant agencies to develop a plan to increase supply chain intelligence within 180 days;
- Establishes a National Supply Chain Security Center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to collect supply chain threat information and disseminate it to agencies with the authority to intervene; and
- Makes funds available under the Defense Production Act for federal supply chain security enhancements.
As the United States continues to battle security threats from the Chinese in cyberspace, it is pertinent that Congressional leaders continue to introduce legislation aimed at bolstering US defenses. Without Congressional action threats from foreign actors will be left unaddressed, allowing malicious hard and software to permeate through key government and private sector data systems. CTT applauds Senator Crapo and Senator Warner for their action to propose legislation that protects every American, from the consumer all the way to the top levels of defense and government personnel.