Congressmen Ron Wright (TX-06) and Marc Veasey (TX-33) introduced H.R. 6917, the bipartisan Airport Infrastructure Resources (AIR) Security Act to prevent China, and their state-sponsored enterprises to infiltrate critical systems and carry out espionage and intellectual property (IP) theft.
The legislation prohibits federal airport improvement funds from being used to purchase passenger boarding bridges from companies that have violated the IP rights and threaten the national security of the United States.
"From day one of this pandemic, Communist China has been reckless and negligent in their COVID-19 response. They failed to communicate the disease's seriousness to the rest of the global community, leading to the death of thousands of Americans, not to mention their own people. Make no mistake, the CCP will stop at nothing to gain power and control. We cannot afford to give them inroads to our most critical systems," said Rep. Ron Wright. "I am proud to introduce this legislation with my colleague Rep. Veasey to ensure taxpayer dollars do not go to Chinese-owned or subsidized passenger boarding bridge companies that are hoping to steal from and spy on the American people."
“The national security threat China and other adversaries pose to our transportation industry cannot be underestimated,” Sen. John Cornyn said. “I’m grateful to Congressmen Wright and Veasey for introducing this legislation to ensure government grants aren’t used to subsidize the purchase of airport infrastructure from hostile governments.”
Over the last few years, CIMC-Tianda, a Chinese-owned company with a history of industrial and cyber espionage against the United States, has repeatedly tried to partner with major U.S. transportation hubs, including Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Boston, to sell its airplane passenger boarding bridges, says a news release.
“Aviation infrastructure is critical to national security – and for that reason, China’s Communist Party proxy companies are targeting our commercial airports. For intellectual property protection and safety, we should prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from entering into contracts with companies with direct affiliation with our adversaries,” said Rep. Michael Waltz.
“Not a dime of U.S. taxpayer dollars should be given to Chinese owned firms or Chinese subsidized companies bidding on our critical aviation infrastructure projects,” said Rep. Ross Spano. “China and its communist government has proven time and time again that the are only out for themselves and have no reservations in stealing our intellectual property and carrying out cyber espionage against our country. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill to secure our aviation security.”
Original Cosponsors of the Airport Infrastructure Resources (AIR) Security Act: Reps. Marc Veasey (TX-33), Michael Waltz (FL-6), Ross Spano (FL-15), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and Lance Gooden (TX-5).