This week House Republicans named U.S. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) to head the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees technology policy. Rep. McMorris Rogers will be the first woman to hold the leadership position.
A China hawk, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has been a staunch advocate for tough controls on technology exports to the People’s Republic of China. Importantly, she has fought to bolster American competitiveness. In August she introduced the American Competitiveness on More Productive Emerging Tech Economy (COMPETE) Act, which passed unanimously out of the House.
“To maintain our global competitive edge, win the future, and beat China, it’s crucial that the U.S. lead on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Quantum Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other emerging technologies,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said upon the bill’s passage. “Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to get ahead by stealing, cheating, and subsidizing their State-Owned Enterprises.”
She also urge her colleagues in Congress to move forward with the recommendations of the China Task Force, which she said are critical for the United States to “beat China” and remain a technology leader on the global stage. “When America leads and innovates, the CCP steals and lies… This is a battle for the ideals that have defined our way of life and made America a beacon of hope for billions of people across the world.”
McMorris Rodgers said top items on her tech agenda include a single federal data privacy standard, a plan to boost emerging technologies and autonomous vehicle registration, Politico reports. She also sees an opportunity to work with the Biden administration to support 5G deployment—a field the Chinese government is investing in heavily.
“In order to beat China in a global economy and ensure America remains the best place in the world to innovate, we must win the 5G race,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said in January. “Equipment from companies supported by the Chinese government, like Huawei and ZTE, comes with significant risks.”