Leading American Tech Companies Are Crucial For Competing With China. How Is The U.S. Protecting American Interests Internationally?
Two separate hearings on U.S.-China relations this week could put the spotlight on how anti-tech policies could undermine American leadership by fragmenting our own technology sector, handicapping America’s abilities to further innovate, and making it harder to counter China’s ambition for global tech dominance. Just last week, The Economist highlighted how “China surpassed America in the share of highly cited AI papers in 2019; in 2021, 26% of AI conference publications globally came from China, compared with America’s share of 17%.”
Yet arguments continue to percolate, claiming the United States should disregard decades of a balanced approach to competition, competitiveness, and the consumer welfare standard to pursue anti-tech policies in the midst of fierce global technological competition. Furthermore, these arguments are at odds with the administration’s own National Security Strategy, underscoring the “dangerous disconnect” between overzealous regulators and national security concerns, as noted by Brian Cavanaugh, a former senior director on the National Security Council.
National security experts such as former U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and the Hudson Institute’s Arthur Herman, a former member of the National Security Council, are questioning this dangerous approach.
Here are some of the top takeaways from their new piece in Foreign Affairs magazine on America’s strategic approach to China and what it means for the tech industry:
— American national security leaders “rely on the resources and expertise of leading American developers” to maintain the U.S.’ competitive advantage. “Lawmakers must also take care not to alienate major technology companies. The Pentagon and the intelligence community rely on the resources and expertise of leading American developers to maintain the United States’ advantage in key areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cyber, robotics, and autonomous systems.”
— Congress needs to stop targeting U.S. technology companies with harmful legislation that would leave Americans vulnerable “to Chinese hacking and malware.” “Congress must therefore stop targeting U.S. technology companies in the specious name of ‘competition.’ Instead, it needs to find ways to incentivize those firms in their innovation race with Chinese competitors. The Open App Markets Act, an antitrust bill proposed by Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, is not the way to do this: it would leave Americans’ phones open to Chinese hacking and malware and hurt U.S. companies without addressing the real danger from TikTok and other Chinese behemoths.”
See here for more from Springboard on the anti-tech push threatening U.S. national security.