MIL-OSI USA: Slotkin Introduces Legislation Establishing National Security Review for Chinese Connected Vehicles

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-07) has formally introduced the Connected Vehicle National Security Review Act, a bill to establish a formal national security review for connected vehicles built by companies from China or other countries of concern and give the U.S. Department of Commerce authority to limit or, if necessary, ban their import or sale.

Yesterday’s introduction comes after Slotkin announced the bill, and released draft text, during the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference.

Congresswoman Slotkin – a former CIA officer and Pentagon official – has already been outspoken about the threat of Chinese vehicles from her post as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. 

“We’re moving quickly to put this issue front and center,” said Slotkin. “Vehicles built by China and other countries of concern – vehicles equipped with sophisticated technology and sensors that can collect data, computers to process that data, and networked so they can transmit that data – are a potential national security risk that we need to address now, before they’re in our market in large numbers.”

“Connected vehicles from China are capable of collecting huge amounts of sensitive data on drivers, which can pose a significant threat to U.S. national security and Americans’ privacy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Rep. Slotkin has been a strong partner in advancing U.S. national security, and I want to thank her for her efforts to get the Commerce Department legislative authorities we can use to keep Americans safe.”

Thursday, Slotkin also formally introduced the Information and Communication Technology and Services (ICTS) National Security Review Act, which provides broader authority for the Commerce Department to review information and communication technology and services beyond the automotive sector for national security concerns. 

Both bills would establish in law explicit authorities provided to the U.S. Department of Commerce and other federal agencies under Executive Orders from both the Trump (EO 13873) and Biden (EO 14034) administrations.

The Connected Vehicle National Security Review Act provides more explicit statutory authority, strengthening protections against national security risks and preventing a future president from reversing the executive orders and lowering the nation’s guard against those risks. The legislation would also give additional statutory authority to any future decisions to restrict connected vehicles built by countries of concern.

Under the legislation, the Department of Commerce would have the authority to review any sale, importation, or other transaction that:

  • Involves a connected vehicle designed, built, or supplied by anyone controlled by or subject to the jurisdiction of one of six countries of concern, including China. This includes connected vehicles that are manufactured by Chinese companies operating in third countries like Mexico; and
  • Presents an undue or unacceptable risk – including the risk of sabotage or subversion of other electronic systems, risk to critical infrastructure, or other unacceptable risk to national security or to the safety of Americans.

The Information and Communication Technology and Services (ICTS) National Security Review Act is structured similarly but applies more broadly to information and communications technology and services beyond the automotive sector.

In February, the Biden Administration announced an investigation led by the Department of Commerce into the risks of connected vehicles from countries of concern, including China. That investigation is taking place under a series of executive orders issued by President Biden and President Trump – orders that could be revoked by a future president. That’s not just hypothetical: former President Donald Trump, who issued an order that would have given the U.S. government authority to address security risks from the TikTok social media platform, has since office repudiated his past position and opposed efforts to force a sale of TikTok from its China-based owners.

The Act would go beyond the limits presented by traditional trade restriction tools, such as tariffs, which may not prevent countries of concern from establishing production facilities in Mexico or other countries for export to the United States. Under the legislation, any connected vehicle built by a company under the ownership, control, or jurisdiction of a country of concern is subject to national security review.

Text of the Connected Vehicle National Security Review Act is available HERE. 

Text of the Information and Communication Technology and Services (ICTS) National Security Review Act is available HERE.

A summary and Q&A of the Connected Vehicle National Security Review Act are available HERE.