As China Tech Threat (CTT) reported in February, Georgia emerged as an early leader with the passage of SB 346 to protect Georgia residents from China intrusion. Authored by State Rep. Martin Momtahan and signed into law in 2022 by Governor Kemp, the law prohibits companies owned or operated by China from bidding on state contracts. This law was timely as CTT’s research showed Georgia recently spent $47,259,946 on restricted Chinese technology from Lexmark and Lenovo.
Implementation of this new law will help eradicate the use of Georgia taxpayer dollars to purchase dangerous Chinese technology. Rep. Momtahan has been working for its enforcement and in a February 2023 letter to Georgia’s Department of Administrative Services, he called for the Department to “undertake a thorough review, asking all vendors to certify that they are not owned/operated by the People’s Republic of China.”
Many states continue to purchase this risky technology from manufacturers already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connections to the Chinese government and military (you can read more about Lexmark, Lenovo and two other dangerous Chinese government-owned tech manufacturers in our May briefing paper).
States yet to enact legislation to ban the purchase and deployment of Chinese technology should look to Georgia’s leadership as well as to a growing number of states that have prohibited these dangerous purchases. The most recent legislative efforts include South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem who signed SB 189 into law in March, Idaho’s Governor Brad Little who signed HB 294 and Arkansas’ Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders who signed HB 1789 in April, and, most recently, on May 1 Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb who signed SB 477.
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