IDC Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis Opening Statement on Mapping America’s Supply Chains
Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered opening re marks at today’s Subcommittee legislative hearing titled " Mapping America’s Supply Chains: Solutions to Unleash Innovation, Boost Economic Resilience, and Beat China ." Prepared remarks below: BOLSTERING AMERICA'S GLOBAL LEADERSHIP "Good morning, everyone. Welcome to today’s hearing on legislation that will help bolster America’s global leadership and secure our nation’s economic and national security. "Since this committee was created in 1795, it has had a clear purpose on how to promote interstate commerce domestically and conduct business abroad. Learning how our supply chains work and ensuring their integrity is an integral part of that work and historically has not been a partisan issue. "More recently, this was on display in several emerging technology supply chain bills that formed Chair Rodger’s bipartisan American COMPETE Act legislation that became law in 2020." NEED TO STRENGTHEN SUPPLE CHAINS AFTER PANDEMIC "As we learned from the crippling effects of the pandemic on America’s supply chains in 2021, further efforts began in our Committee to examine how we can better map and monitor supply chains to ensure resiliency in the future. "What started as a positive bipartisan process unfortunately went down a different path. To be clear, I don’t blame my Democratic colleagues on this Committee, as I know this was a top-down decision dictated by Speaker Pelosi. Instead of consensus legislating, the process led to multibillion-dollar spending programs that skipped regular order, which ironically the now minority party insists we preserve. "The conclusion to that effort was failure, as even the Senate was unable to agree with the enormous price tag and government interventions into the private sector. "I say this not to re-litigate the past but more to help us get a fresh start." SOLUTIONS "Today we have legislation from Dr. Bucshon that takes us back to our earlier consensus, identifying the special role that emerging technologies will have in our future economy. It is best to promote and deploy these technologies now with our values driving the process, rather than to spend billions to figure out how to reclaim them later if they are deployed and developed with an adversary’s values. "I believe both sides of the aisle can appreciate this legislation on the docket in draft form to continue a dialogue that results in a bipartisan consensus. "We have all been legislating long enough to know that America cannot simply throw taxpayer dollars at an issue to rectify concerns. "The multibillion-dollar semiconductor program enacted last Congress has been hamstrung by issues we flagged during its consideration for not considering regulatory burdens like permitting. BEATING CHINA "The way we retain and grow our leadership is not to outspend China, but instead provide a stable regulatory framework that rewards innovators and entrepreneurs with results. "To secure our future, we need to address problems our nation faces at the root cause. That means mapping and monitoring supply chains and understanding why we are so reliant on adversaries like China for many critical minerals and components, essential for products our constituents use. We should understand how we can source in America or with allied nations. "It means promoting the deployment of emerging technologies like blockchains to have greater transparency into a chain of custody, or autonomous vehicles to help deliver goods where we see voids. "It means removing barriers that small businesses and startups face in their effort to enter markets and developing a plan to promote their growth and their workforce. And specifically on that note, I also want to thank Representatives Bill Johnson and Dean Phillips for their continued leadership on H.R. 5398, the Advancing Tech Startups Act, and to Representatives Miller-Meeks, Bucshon, Johnson, Kuster, Schrier, and Spanberger for H.R. 5390, the Critical Infrastructure Manufacturing Feasibility Act. "I look forward to the discussion today and welcome any constructive and specific language we can review to get these bills passed and ultimately succeed in getting them to the Presidents’ desk. "Thank you to our panelists for your testimony today, and I yield back."