More than seven months after President Biden nominated Alan Estevez to serve as Undersecretary for Industry and Security, Mr. Estevez has yet to receive a confirmation vote in Congress.
Next week China Tech Threat is launching a new special series, Give Alan Estevez an Up-or-Down Vote, meant to track the time this important post has been unfilled and highlight vulnerabilities the vacancy creates.
The White House and Congress roundly agree that China’s ambitions to dominate emerging technology markets pose a serious threat to U.S. economic and national security interests. “If there’s any subject that unifies the most conservative Republican and the most liberal Democrat, it’s a deep skepticism of China and a motivation to ensure U.S. economic competitiveness,” CNBC reported this month.
However, the vacancy at the head of the BIS, “the most important agency most Americans have never heard of,” creates a glaring hole in the United States’ export control regime—one of the most critical tools to prevent the Chinese government’s theft and weaponization of sensitive U.S.-made technology.
Mr. Estevez has the most extensive national security background of any recent BIS director. And, unlike many predecessors whose backgrounds were in trade compliance, Mr. Estevez brings unprecedented defense and supply chain experience, including more than three decades of service at the Pentagon.
Without a director at the helm of the BIS, the United States is fighting China with a hand tied behind its back. This vacancy leaves the U.S. more vulnerable and prevents the BIS from implementing policies to protect the America’s competitive advantages.
Please follow us on this series and ask Congress to give Mr. Estevez an up-or-down vote now. #EstevezVoteNow