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U.S. Moves Against China’s Supposed Dominance of Next-Gen Techs Like Blockchain

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee has passed the bipartisan “American Competitiveness Of a More Productive Emerging Tech Economy Act” or the “American COMPETE Act” which has been suggested to strengthen the much-talked about effort by the U.S. to challenge China on emerging technologies like Blockchain.

Introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL), the legislation’s markup session was held on Wednesday September 9 via Cisco Webex video conferencing as the lawmakers sought to ensure the U.S. as “a leader in technology – and we need to keep it that way” according to Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY).

“I was proud to cosponsor the COMPETE Act, a broad, bipartisan package that will ensure that American technology advances and remains competitive,” he said. “The COMPETE Act includes two of my bills, the Advancing Blockchain Act to continue our work in blockchain and the Countering Online Harms Act to protect Americans from misinformation and dangerous content.”

For Republican Leader, Greg Walden (R-OR), emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and blockchain “will directly impact our economy, national security, and way of life as we know it. The time for the U.S. to lead is now.”

“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,” said McMorris Rodgers. “As we have seen in past global crises and in recent months, the Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to get ahead by stealing, cheating, and subsidizing their State-Owned Enterprises. We cannot out subsidize China or beat them at their own game, nor should we.”

Rep. Rodgers had noted earlier that the American COMPETE Act “incentivizes free-market American ingenuity by reducing regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to the development and deployment of next-gen tech” to develop “strategies to enhance U.S. competitiveness in next-gen tech areas and ensure supply chains are secure.

The U.S. move comes as there are claims that Beijing is using export controls as a move to decouple its technology industry by focusing on emerging nations which represent a larger export market for China than the US, according to Gavekal Dragonomics/Macrobond data. According to Financial Times piece, Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative and its trade-based diplomacy in Africa and the Middle East, combined with the rise of the digital renminbi, will make it ever easier for China to grow its exports to places other than the US.

In another move, China is reportedly planning to launch its own set of global data security standards in an effort to counter U.S.-led efforts to persuade countries to block their networks from Chinese technology. With the “Global Initiative on Data Security,” Beijing will call on countries to handle data security in a “comprehensive, objective, and evidence-based manner” and keep an open, secure, and stable supply chain for information and communications technology and services, according to a draft reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

The initiative urges governments to respect other countries’ sovereignty on how they handle data, giving countries total control over the information and content in their respective cyberspaces, and  to oppose “mass surveillance against other states.” Tech firms are advised not use backdoors to illegally obtain users’ data, control or manipulate users’ systems and devices.

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