Washington D.C.—Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of his bipartisan legislation, the Promoting United States International Leadership in 5G Act, which will ensure the U.S. can compete with China on critical 5G technology. This legislation will help increase the United States’ leadership in the global race to develop and deploy 5G and future generations of mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure.


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-Remarks as Delivered-

“Madame Speaker, I rise today in support of my Promoting United States International Leadership in 5G Act, which I was pleased to introduce with my friend Mr. Cuellar who is also from the great state of Texas. Texas is home to many leading technology and communications companies and is an innovation hub. Cutting edge technology like 5G holds the promise to create millions of jobs and add hundreds of billions of dollars to the United States’ economy.

“The standards which are set at the international bodies such as the ITU and 3GPP are critical to the future of 5G. They establish a uniform criterion across devices, markets and more. For example, standards are the reason that your USB memory stick fits into any USB port on any device. For years these standards were adopted on merit. However over the last few years, China has been using coercive and underhanded tactics at international bodies to adopt Chinese technology in 5G standards. These efforts unfairly benefit Chinese companies and empower the Communist Party of China.

“The 2018 report to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission states that:“The Chinese government is encouraging its companies to play a greater role in international 5G standards organizations to ensure they set global standards; such leadership may result in higher revenues and exports from internationally accepted intellectual property and technology and more global influence over future wireless technology and standards development.”

“My bill will ensure the U.S. maintains, and in some cases increases, leadership at the international standards setting bodies. Specifically, it creates an interagency working group to provide assistance and technical expertise to enhance our representation and leadership at these bodies.

“Additionally, my bill will create strategies for increasing engagement with our allies, partners, and the private sector. These strategies will help increase the U.S.’s leadership in the global race to develop and deploy 5G and future generations of mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure.

“Finally, my bill will provide an assessment of Chinese activities at those international bodies. This assessment will help us to ensure that the standards setting bodies are not unduly influenced to adopt standards that unfairly advantage Communist Party of China connected and supported companies like Huawei. China seeks to control critical industries by making them reliant on Chinese technologies and companies.

“These Chinese companies are beholden to the laws and regulations in China that demand cooperation with Chinese intelligence services.  The free flow of information and security of a country’s data cannot be guaranteed using Communist Party of China supplied technology.

“There are credible reports of China taking advantage of network equipment supplied by its companies for intelligence advantage that date back almost two decades. Therefore, it is imperative that the United States leads at these standards setting organizations so that we are not beholden to Communist Party of China controlled technology that will severely impact the freedoms and security we value in the United States.

“And I will say the war on 5G is on. Some would argue in the I.C. that we are losing that war, and we need to compete with China and we need to win. This bill will go a long ways towards the United States taking the lead and blocking the Chinese Communist Party from its intelligence service data collection. I urge support.”

McCaul later continued:For decades, China has been infiltrating the United States through espionage and intellectual property theft. I know the issue today is Iran, but when I ask the Secretary of State, what’s the greatest threat to the United States long term, it is China. We have to compete with China and we can say they’re bad actors, but we have to compete and when it comes to artificial intelligence to quantum computing and yes to 5G, if we can’t compete, we lose long term and the next generation is counting on us to win this race. If you look at the global map, they’re moving from 4G to 5G, almost 50 percent of the globe now. And what happens when the Chinese come into a developing nation and they plant their cheap telecommunications into the ground, they suck all the country’s data.

“They steal all the data and they do it for a reason because long term, they want to dominate. We have to compete with this. We have to win. This is equivalent to — we had a space race to the moon. It’s a digital space race, a digital space race against the Chinese to win against espionage, to win against theft of intellectual property and to win for the American people. And so I want to thank the Rep. Spanberger for working with my office on this important measure and she’s very involved in the 5G issue, and  being from the intelligence community, she knows how important this is and it is refreshing to have a bipartisan moment in this chamber. I think that’s what most people Americans want us to be doing right now and I look forward to its passage.”