Bipartisan Lawmakers Call for Tighter Regulations on Chinese-Made Drones

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Department of Commerce to expand its regulatory scope to include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones.A letter dated June 13 from the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was sent to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressing deep concerns about the potential threats associated with UAVs controlled by foreign adversaries, specifically those manufactured in China.Currently, the Department of Commerce is developing regulations aimed at safeguarding the Information and Communications Technology and Services supply chain, focusing primarily on connected vehicles within the automotive industry.However, lawmakers are calling for these regulations to encompass UAVs as well, citing the critical need to protect national security.Committee Chairman John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) emphasized that Chinese-manufactured UAVs dominate the U.S. consumer drone market, controlling 90 percent of it and 70 percent of the global market.They warned that these drones’ connected software and hardware could be exploited for data theft and network compromises, posing undue risks to U.S. security.Related Stories“There is broad bipartisan agreement among Congress and the Executive Branch that [People’s Republic of China] UAVs pose serious national security risks,” the letter reads.The lawmakers referenced the American Security Drone Act of 2023, which prohibits federal agencies from procuring drones made by certain foreign entities, including those from China.They also pointed to recent cybersecurity guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI, highlighting the vulnerabilities and potential for data access by the Chinese regime.The committee leadership also pointed to the similarities in risks between connected vehicles in the automotive industry and UAVs. Among those risks is the concern that both can collect significant data about their environment and transmit it back to their manufacturers.That capability is cause for concern because of the CCP’s legal framework, which requires companies to share data with Beijing. Drones accessing information such as GPS locations and coordinates of the operators could lead to misuse of data gathered by these UAVs, according to the letter.Lawmakers also stressed that U.S. law enforcement and various government agencies’ use of CCP drones makes the issue more pressing. “The [People’s Liberation Army] and other components of the [People’s Republic of China’s] national security apparatus can map, analyze, and exploit critical U.S. national security infrastructure,” they warned.The committee urged Ms. Raimondo to consider expanding the definition of connected vehicles to include UAVs in the ongoing communications, technology, and services rulemaking. If not, they requested that Commerce initiate a new inquiry specifically into the national security risks posed by these drones.A push to reconsider the importation of Chinese aerial vehicles comes on the heels of the International Trade Commission’s vote to investigate possible tariff-dodging by the same country.China-based companies have been accused of employing manufacturers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to evade U.S. tariffs on the Chinese regime. The trade commission found “reasonable indication” that the U.S. solar industry was “materially injured” by such imports.The Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

Bipartisan Lawmakers Call for Tighter Regulations on Chinese-Made Drones

.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Department of Commerce to expand its regulatory scope to include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones.

A letter dated June 13 from the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was sent to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressing deep concerns about the potential threats associated with UAVs controlled by foreign adversaries, specifically those manufactured in China.

Currently, the Department of Commerce is developing regulations aimed at safeguarding the Information and Communications Technology and Services supply chain, focusing primarily on connected vehicles within the automotive industry.

However, lawmakers are calling for these regulations to encompass UAVs as well, citing the critical need to protect national security.

Committee Chairman John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) emphasized that Chinese-manufactured UAVs dominate the U.S. consumer drone market, controlling 90 percent of it and 70 percent of the global market.

They warned that these drones’ connected software and hardware could be exploited for data theft and network compromises, posing undue risks to U.S. security.

“There is broad bipartisan agreement among Congress and the Executive Branch that [People’s Republic of China] UAVs pose serious national security risks,” the letter reads.

The lawmakers referenced the American Security Drone Act of 2023, which prohibits federal agencies from procuring drones made by certain foreign entities, including those from China.

They also pointed to recent cybersecurity guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI, highlighting the vulnerabilities and potential for data access by the Chinese regime.

The committee leadership also pointed to the similarities in risks between connected vehicles in the automotive industry and UAVs. Among those risks is the concern that both can collect significant data about their environment and transmit it back to their manufacturers.

That capability is cause for concern because of the CCP’s legal framework, which requires companies to share data with Beijing. Drones accessing information such as GPS locations and coordinates of the operators could lead to misuse of data gathered by these UAVs, according to the letter.

Lawmakers also stressed that U.S. law enforcement and various government agencies’ use of CCP drones makes the issue more pressing. “The [People’s Liberation Army] and other components of the [People’s Republic of China’s] national security apparatus can map, analyze, and exploit critical U.S. national security infrastructure,” they warned.

The committee urged Ms. Raimondo to consider expanding the definition of connected vehicles to include UAVs in the ongoing communications, technology, and services rulemaking. If not, they requested that Commerce initiate a new inquiry specifically into the national security risks posed by these drones.

A push to reconsider the importation of Chinese aerial vehicles comes on the heels of the International Trade Commission’s vote to investigate possible tariff-dodging by the same country.

China-based companies have been accused of employing manufacturers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to evade U.S. tariffs on the Chinese regime. The trade commission found “reasonable indication” that the U.S. solar industry was “materially injured” by such imports.

The Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

.