Last week the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee took up the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act, which seeks to boost U.S. competitiveness with China.
During the markup (see video starting around 3 hr, 31 min) , Representative August Pfluger (R-TX11) introduced an amendment to add Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) to the U.S. Entity List.
“[Semiconductors] are a vital component to every single device, computing product that we use,” Rep. Pfluger said. “The [People’s Republic of China] seeks self-sufficiency in semiconductor manufacturing so it can control the means of production, supply its growing demand for semiconductors both in military and also civilian use, and increase its leverage over trading partners.”
In the U.S. Air Force, Rep. Pfluger says he saw “firsthand” the Chinese military’s acquisition of sensitive U.S.-made dual-use technologies.
YMTC “is closely aligned with the [People’s Liberation Army] and deemed a ‘national champion’ by its own government,” Rep. Pfluger told the Committee. “Allowing this technology [semiconductors] to be dominated by an autocratic regime would not only imperil U.S. national security, but also would further empower the [Chinese Communist Party] in their campaign against human and civil rights.”
“We are exporting our innovation and subsidizing China’s ability to make this technology,” he added.
Rep. Pfluger’s amendment was ultimately voted down. Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY5), co-sponsor of the EAGLE Act, explained that export controls should remain under agencies’ control, not Congress’.
A vote on the EAGLE Act was delayed after a “marathon discussion” on Wednesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 1.
Ahead of the markup, Republican Committee members expressed reservations with the legislation. “It is more of a messaging bill that is a Trojan horse for flawed green climate initiatives,” Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX10), ranking Republican on the Committee, said before the mark-up.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is slated to pick-up the EAGLE Act again on Monday, July 12.