WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today urged the U.S. Senate to adopt an amendment to the infrastructure bill offered by Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) that would prohibit federal funds for technology purchases from going toward Chinese-made drones. Included in the $1 trillion infrastructure package is the $500 million Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation Grant Program, which is meant to help acquire drones and other technologies to improve the nation’s transportation systems. The Senators’ bipartisan amendment would block any of these federal funds from being used to purchase drones made by Chinese companies like Shenzhen-based Da Jiang Innovations (DJI), which dominates 70% of the U.S. civilian drone market.
“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure is a worthy goal, but providing a U.S. taxpayer-funded windfall to Chinese companies is not how you Build Back Better,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Our members represent the companies and workers who are committed to making things right here in America. The Senate should adopt the Hoeven-Blumenthal amendment and ensure additional safeguards are put in place to prevent any taxpayer money from going to Chinese companies.”
Two weeks ago, the Pentagon said in a statement that DJI drones “pose potential threats to national security.” In December 2020, the Department of Commerce placed DJI on the Entity List due to the company’s ties to the Chinese government and Communist Party, effectively blacklisting the company by restricting the ability of U.S. firms to sell parts to the drone-maker and making it harder for DJI to sell its products in the U.S.