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Kinzinger, Kaptur Introduce Bipartisan Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act

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Washington, DC, December 9, 2020 | Maura Gillespie (12022253635) | comments
Legislation authorizes U.S. Development Finance Corporation to provide financing for cross-border 5G telecommunications infrastructure development to enhance transatlantic security in the face of malign influence.
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Washington, D.C. –  Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), released the following statement after they introduced the bipartisan Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act, legislation to authorize the U.S. Development Finance Corporation to provide financing for 5G telecommunications infrastructure development to our European allies and partners. The legislation seeks to increase resilience in countries in the region whose infrastructure deficit from the Soviet-era makes them especially vulnerable to malign Chinese influence, including among nations in the Three Seas Initiative. Additionally, this bill directs the Secretary of State and other relevant agency heads to prioritize diplomacy and project support for European allies and partners to develop 5G markets that are inclusive, transparent, economically viable, socially sustainable, and compliant with international law. Finally, this legislation ensures the United States is leading with our European allies to develop international 5G standards that favor democratic institutions, not further authoritarianism spread by China. 

“I thank Congressman Kinzinger for joining me in introducing this important, bipartisan legislation today,” said Rep. Kaptur. “The United States and our allies are facing increasing threats from state-linked companies in China as they seek to infiltrate and undermine democratic institutions. These companies pose an especially dire risk as our European allies and partners work to build out their 5G infrastructure. 5G networks will serve as the backbone of transatlantic telecommunications infrastructure for years to come, fostering greater development of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. With those advances come immense national security and economic implications. That is why it is critical that these networks be kept safe from malign foreign  influence. This legislation will help our European allies and partners finance 5G infrastructure development through the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, which will provide a viable, transparent alternative to insecure telecommunication equipment and service providers.”

“I am glad to introduce the Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act with my colleague Representative Kaptur. This legislation, which is modeled off our European Energy and Security Diversification Act, would offer American assistance and innovation to help central and eastern European countries push back on the infiltration of Chinese technology into their critical networks,” said Congressman Kinzinger. “With the growing threat coming from Communist China, we must ensure that our allies are protected from their malign influence. Doing so not only protects our shared communications, but helps defend the freedom of speech, press, and religion across the continent.”

Following unanimous House passage of the H.Res. 672 supporting the Three Seas Initiative and the enactment of the bipartisan European Energy Security and Diversification Act, this bill is the critically needed, next step for Congress to secure our transatlantic allies and partners from malign influence.

Original cosponsors of this legislation include: Reps. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ed Case (D-HI), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY), and Jim Costa (D-CA).   

Bill text can be found online here.

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