CNAS’ New Report Proposes a “whole-of-nation approach” on Tech Competition

Last week the Center for New American Studies (CNAS) published its third report in the series entitled U.S. National Technology Strategy project. The latest report, From Plan to Action: Operationalizing a U.S. National Technology Strategy, “focuses on concrete and pragmatic measures that U.S. policymakers should take to operationalize a national technology strategy.”

The executive summary notes “four premises to the security and technology competition” that help inform the paper and the recommendations it offers for policy makers. These include: the utility of industrial policies, the convergence of national and economic security, gaps in knowledge, and the need for international partnerships.

From there, CNAS provides four recommendations for the Administration to help build a well-rounded technology policy approach:

  • Bolster the Department of Commerce, including expanding the mission of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
    • At China Tech Threat we believe this imperative to limit the export of dual-technologies and keep U.S national security a priority. Read more on our take of BIS here.

  • Mitigate Supply Chain and Technology Transfer Risk
    • China Tech threat agrees with this approach, especially securing the supply chain of foundational technologies such as semiconductors. Read more about our work on this here.

  • Streamline Technology Policy Coordination and Implementation
    • Without centralized actions, policy is at risk of being implemented poorly. China Tech Threat supports the effective interagency action to ensure a range of policies work harmoniously.

  • Increase Capacity to Pursue International Technology Partnerships
    • China Tech Threat has previously noted the importance of multilateralism, particularly when it comes to export controls. Without cooperation between allies, the U.S’ actions may be ineffective.

Most notably, the authors explain that taking these key steps are critical in addressing the China challenge. They note “the nature of the China challenge and economic and political realities require changes to long-standing assumptions and desired end states that dominate American political discourse.”

China Tech Threat commends the work of CNAS and the U.S. National Technology Strategy project. Now more than ever, having a nuanced and thoughtful approach to the U.S’ technology policy is key . Without a long-term plan the security, privacy, and prosperity of all Americans remains at risk.