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Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul delivered the following remarks at the full committee markup in support of the bipartisan and committee passed H.R. 8315, the “Enhancing National Frameworks for Overseas Critical Exports Act” (ENFORCE Act). During his remarks, Chairman McCaul highlighted the enormous impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have on our economy and military. Chairman McCaul underscored the importance of protecting our most sensitive technologies from falling into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as it looks to enhance their surveillance state and war machine. 


— Remarks as delivered — 

As we look at the potential for AI, I compare it to what we experienced with the Manhattan Project; this changed everything, and AI will have the same impact, including [on] warfare.
AI will permeate every facet of our economy and military, serving as a bedrock upon which our prosperity and security will rest. 
That’s why safeguarding our most advanced AI systems, and the technologies underpinning them, is imperative to our national security interests.
AI has created a technology revolution that will determine whether America remains the world’s leading superpower, or whether it gets eclipsed by China. 
These technologies can be used to safeguard democracy, or they can be used for surveillance and oppression. 
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission reported last year that China is using commercial AI advancements to prepare its military for a war with Taiwan.
We must understand that whoever sets the rules on its application will win this great power competition and determine the global balance of power. 
Currently, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) stands as our first line of defense, tasked with approving or denying the export of dual-use items, such as advanced semiconductors and the tools to build them.
Recently, BIS revoked the export licenses from both Intel and Qualcomm, who were selling semiconductors to Huawei. 
I commend them for finally taking this long overdue step.
But, while BIS can stop the flow of advanced semiconductors to the CCP and other adversaries, it lacks the clear legal authority to control the export of AI systems.
That is why I introduced the ENFORCE Act. 
This legislation amends the “Export Control Reform Act of 2018,” it empowers BIS to curb the transfer of military-grade AI systems that pose national security risks from being exported to adversaries, like China.
A recent industry poll found that 64 percent of respondents, both Democrat and Republican, support the key provisions of the ENFORCE Act. 
This legislation provides BIS the flexibility to craft appropriate controls on closed AI systems, without stifling U.S. innovation or affecting open-source models. 
Additionally, it provides BIS the authority to restrict American AI labs or companies from working with the CCP – who would use this technology against America’s national security interests. 
Without the ENFORCE Act, we stand [perilously] exposed to a host of threats. It’s a loophole in our laws, and it’s a dangerous one.
Our top AI companies could inadvertently fuel China’s technological ascent, empowering their military and malign ambition.  
As the CCP looks to expand their technological advancements to enhance their surveillance state and war machine, it is critical that we protect our sensitive technology from falling into their hands.
So with that, I urge my colleagues to support this measure.