U.S. tech innovators have helped America’s towns and small businesses grow and thrive by enabling companies to serve – or be based in – corners of the country that simply weren’t accessible before. And when it comes to our national security, U.S. tech helps ensure our military can rely on American-developed technologies.

But our technological advantage – and the economic and national security benefits that come with it – is in jeopardy. 

We recently saw the lengths the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will go to spy, surveil, and gain an advantage over the U.S. with their 200-foot tall surveillance balloon traversing across America. 

James Dickey

This is not the first time China has targeted U.S. technology. Chinese hackers have stolen trillions of dollars in intellectual property with the goal of “obtaining blueprints for cutting-edge technologies.”

In China’s 13th Five Year Plan, President Xi called innovation the “cornerstone of China’s development strategy” and an essential component in “enhancing its future global competitiveness and technological edge.” And in President Xi’s recent reelection speech, he called on China “to ‘win the battle’ in core technologies.” 

Unfortunately, China is succeeding in becoming a global tech leader. A new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that China has actually surpassed the United States in innovation output, threatening U.S. national and economic security. 

The risks of China becoming the global tech superpower cannot be overstated.  

Thankfully, elected leaders in Texas understand this threat and have been outspoken about the need to check China’s ambitions, from Senator Cruz calling for increased self-reliance on U.S. tech to limit our dependence on China to Rep. Michael McCaul calling for investigations into China’s deceptive actions to undermine U.S. leadership. 

Washington needs to follow their lead.

Congress must ensure that the United States remains competitive and can counter this rising technological threat from China. This means promoting policies that support U.S. tech – from small entrepreneurs to our largest, most innovative companies – to ensure that new emerging technologies, such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence, come from the United States. 

Here in the Lone Star state, Texas Instruments is investing nearly $30 billion in a new semiconductor plant, strengthening Texas’ and the U.S. economy and reducing our dependence on Chinese technology. Texas is distinguishing itself as a top leader in technology and innovation, ranking fourth in the nation, supporting U.S. competitiveness and innovation output.

Weakening the U.S. tech sector could result in Americans having to rely on Chinese technology in everything from daily personal activities to key military initiatives. This is a risk we cannot take.

If lawmakers continue to pursue legislation that undermines U.S. technology and innovation and bolsters China’s instead, U.S. leadership will be threatened. Texas and America need Washington to support policies that strengthen innovation during this high-stakes tech race with China.  

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned exclusively for The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service by James Dickey, a former Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.

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