Bipartisan National Security Leaders Agree: “The Democracy Technology Partnership Act Outlines an Important Vision and Strategic Plan for the U.S.”

~ Bipartisan cohort of U.S. national security leaders urges Biden administration to implement the Democracy Technology Partnership Act to counter PRC’s tech strategy ~

WASHINGTON – Today, a bipartisan group of U.S. national security leaders penned a letter to the Biden administration urging it to strongly consider the provisions laid out in the bipartisan Democracy Technology Partnership Act. The bill – introduced by U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and a bipartisan group of Senators earlier this month – aims to develop a partnership and strategy among democratic countries to compete against growing technological strength and influence by the Chinese Communist Party and other authoritarian regimes.

The letter is penned by a broad bipartisan cohort of national security experts including, Ash Carter, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Jim Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI); Richard Danzig, former U.S. Secretary of the Navy; Michèle A. Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS); Stephen J. Hadley, former U.S. National Security Advisor; Michael V. Hayden, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA); Admiral William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Navy four-star Admiral and former Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command; Stephanie O’Sullivan, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America and former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State.

“We believe the bill offers an important idea: creating a diplomatic mechanism to execute a national security strategy, which places technology competition and international partnerships at its center,” the bipartisan national security leaderswrote to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. National Security Advisory, Jake Sullivan. “The strength of the United States – politically, economically, and militarily – will depend on the ability of the United States and like-minded democratic countries to lead in the development and deployment of emerging and critical technologies. Significant advances are occurring across a variety of technology sectors, including wireless telecommunications, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and quantum computing, with major implications for every aspect of American life.”

In the letter, the national security leaders describe how the Democracy Technology Partnership Act would help set international standards and norms on emerging and critical technologies.

“For the better half of a century, the United States led in scientific research and the development of transformational technologies, translating into significant economic and military benefits for the American people. This leadership also enabled us to set the rules of the road governing the use of new technologies in ways that reflected our democratic values,” they continued. “However, in recent years, as U.S. leadership has eroded, the People’s Republic of China has stepped up its efforts to dominate critical and emerging technologies. Their approach has included heavily subsidizing Chinese companies, conducting forced technology transfers, investing significantly in research and development, heavily promoting the global adoption of Chinese technologies, and leveraging international standard setting bodies. They have used these technologies for undemocratic ends internally, such as censorship and surveillance, and exported these technologies, with their illiberal values, abroad.”

“Given the size of the PRC and the scale of its investments, the United States cannot protect its technologies nor compete on its own. The world’s major liberal-democratic nations must work together to help set international standards and norms, conduct joint research, coordinate export controls and investment screening, and make collaborative investments abroad. The Democracy Technology Partnership Act outlines an important vision and strategic plan for how the United States should collaborate with friends and allies on a technology strategy while promoting and protecting our common interests. We ask for your strong consideration of its provisions,” they concluded.

A copy of the letter can be found here and below.

The Honorable Antony J. Blinken

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20520

 

Mr. Jake Sullivan

National Security Advisor

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Secretary Blinken and Mr. Sullivan:

 

We write to convey our support for the bipartisan Democracy Technology Partnership Act (S.604), recently introduced by Senators Warner, Menendez, Schumer, Young, Cornyn, Sasse, Rubio and Bennet. The bill establishes an office that would seek to create a new diplomatic partnership of the world’s tech-leading democracies to coordinate technology policy, standards, and development. We believe the bill offers an important idea: creating a diplomatic mechanism to execute a national security strategy, which places technology competition and international partnerships at its center.

 

The strength of the United States – politically, economically, and militarily – will depend on the ability of the United States and like-minded democratic countries to lead in the development and deployment of emerging and critical technologies. Significant advances are occurring across a variety of technology sectors, including wireless telecommunications, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and quantum computing, with major implications for every aspect of American life.   

 

For the better half of a century, the United States led in scientific research and the development of transformational technologies, translating into significant economic and military benefits for the American people. This leadership also enabled us to set the rules of the road governing the use of new technologies in ways that reflected our democratic values. 

 

However, in recent years, as U.S. leadership has eroded, the People’s Republic of China has stepped up its efforts to dominate critical and emerging technologies. Their approach has included heavily subsidizing Chinese companies, conducting forced technology transfers, investing significantly in research and development, heavily promoting the global adoption of Chinese technologies, and leveraging international standard setting bodies. They have used these technologies for undemocratic ends internally, such as censorship and surveillance, and exported these technologies, with their illiberal values, abroad.

 

Given the size of the PRC and the scale of its investments, the United States cannot protect its technologies nor compete on its own. The world’s major liberal-democratic nations must work together to help set international standards and norms, conduct joint research, coordinate export controls and investment screening, and make collaborative investments abroad. 

 

The Democracy Technology Partnership Act outlines an important vision and strategic plan for how the United States should collaborate with friends and allies on a technology strategy while promoting and protecting our common interests. We ask for your strong consideration of its provisions. 

 

Sincerely,