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Wittman, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan American Security Drone Act

Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) today joined Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) to introduce the American Security Drone Act of 2023. The act would prohibit the federal government from purchasing drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats, such as People's Republic of China (PRC).

“If America is to prevail in this era of great power competition, the U.S. government cannot be using drones manufactured by our adversaries,” said Rep. Wittman. “I am proud to join my colleagues from across the aisle in reintroducing the American Security Drone Act, which will promote American superiority and competitiveness within the drone market, protect against IP theft and data security violations by the Chinese Communist Party, and fortify our national security.”

The American Security Drone Act:

  • Prohibits federal departments and agencies from operating or procuring any covered unmanned aircraft system manufactured or assembled by covered foreign entities, including PRC-based drone manufacturers;

  • Prohibits the use of federal funds awarded through contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to purchase covered unmanned aircraft systems; and

  • Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress detailing the amount of foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones and covered unmanned aircraft systems procured by federal departments and agencies from covered foreign entities.

“The American Security Drone Act takes important action to reduce the United States government’s reliance on foreign-manufactured drone technology,” said Rep. Courtney. “While there’s a clear need for unmanned surveillance capabilities, we cannot subvert our national security imperatives for the sake of expediency, particularly when American manufacturers have the ability to fill this need.”

“The Chinese Communist Party consistently weaponizes its near monopoly on the drone market against the good guys; restricting drone exports to Ukraine while Hamas uses them to perpetrate brutal terrorist attacks,” said Rep. Gallagher. “This bill would prohibit the federal government from using American taxpayer dollars to purchase this equipment from countries like China, supporting the PRC’s malign behavior and posing a serious national security threat to the U.S. and our allies. It is imperative that Congress pass this bipartisan bill to protect U.S. interests and our national security supply-chain."

“The American Security Drone Act helps protect against any vulnerabilities posed by our government agencies’ reliance on foreign-manufactured drone technology and will encourage growth in the U.S. drone industry in the face of unfair and predatory competition from the People’s Republic of China,” said Rep. Krishnamoorthi. “This bill will help protect data security, ensure our national security is not at risk, and strengthen American supply chains in the future. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to pass this bipartisan bill as soon as possible.”

Read the bill text here.