WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) urged leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee to include an amendment in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would ensure American taxpayer dollars do not fund semiconductors made in China. The amendment is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
Specifically, the Schumer-Cornyn amendment would prohibit U.S. companies from doing business with Chinese microchip companies—notably, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT), and Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) and others. It has been well documented that these chip producers and others have direct ties to China’s military.
Earlier this year, CPA and China Tech Threat (CTT) released a policy paper that highlighted the dangers of doing business with Chinese chip producers—including a decision by Apple, which was recently put on hold, to begin using Chinese-made memory chips in the iPhone 14. The paper outlines how this decision would create security risks for Apple and the United States, and would risk destabilizing the memory chip market with the real possibility of a western chipmaker going out of business.
CPA and CTT’s paper was cited in a letter last month from U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman and Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines that called for a public analysis and review of YMTC and the risks it presents to U.S. national security. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) also signed the letter.
“While CPA supported the passage of the CHIPS Act, we emphasized the importance of protecting financial incentives and investment to grow domestic production and keep them away from China,” the letter states. “In considering next steps and this opportunity before Congress now via the NDAA, we cannot reiterate enough the dangers of DOD relying on Chinese-made chips and systems that contain them—as opposed to a trusted, secure, and reliable supply chain for both our commercial and military needs.”
“Amendments like these are necessary to strengthen US leadership in chip manufacturing and other essential industries so that we protect our own interests and lead the world—not the CCP,” the letter continues. “American defense capabilities should not be reliant on exports from CCP-controlled China, nor should the US be funneling money to these businesses beholden to Beijing.”
Read CPA’s full letter here.