Between 2017 and 2022, the state of Montana spent $1,137,538 on restricted Chinese technology from Lexmark, Inc. and Lenovo, Inc.
In February 2023, Rep. Steven Galloway sponsored House Bill 602, an act prohibiting state contracts with Chinese government-owned or affiliated technology manufacturers.
Technology products by Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers Lenovo and Lexmark have been banned by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection to the Chinese government and military, but are still being purchased by state government bodies. While federal policy directs information security at the federal level, states must determine their own security standards making states vulnerable to intrusion through the purchase of these risky Chinese technology products and services.
State lawmakers can enact laws and regulations to restrict contracts with Chinese-owned or operated tech manufactures.
As awareness grows among state lawmakers, there is a shift at the state level to take these threats more seriously. Some states, such as Georgia and Florida, already have laws or regulations to restrict contracts with Chinese-owned or operated tech manufactures that can serve as model policies, and nearly a dozen more states currently considering legislation.