Chairs Rodgers’ Opening Remarks on Strengthening American Competitiveness and Beating China

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered opening remarks at today’s Innovation, Data, and Commerce subcommittee hearing titled “Economic Danger Zone: How America Competes to Win the Future Versus China.” 

Excerpts and highlights below:  

“Welcome to the inaugural first hearing of the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee for the 118th Congress.  

“I’d like to congratulate my good friend, Gus Bilirakis, the new Chair of this Subcommittee and would also congratulate my good friend Tim Walberg, the new Vice Chair of the Subcommittee.” 


“This committee plays a vital role in advancing American competitiveness and global technological leadership. 

“It’s critical that we use this panel to ensure that America -- not China -- is setting rules of the road for technologies of tomorrow. 

“It’s no secret the CCP wants to replace the U.S. as a global economic and technological power. 

“Whether it’s artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, or smart devices, China wants to dominate these new and emerging technologies. 

“But China’s vision of the future is not one that welcomes American values, values like freedom of speech, privacy, entrepreneurial enterprise, individual rights, or the rule of law. 

“The CCP, on the other hand, spies on its citizens and asserts strict government control over businesses and the economy. 

“We need to make sure these technologies of the future are developed in an ecosystem that promotes America’s values, not China’s.  

“This is not a race we can afford to let them win.” 


“We must work together to cement America’s global technological leadership. 

“We should start by passing comprehensive privacy and data security protections with one national standard.  

“We made history last year when we passed the bipartisan, bicameral American Data Privacy and Protection Act 53-2.  

“But our work isn’t over yet, as we have already fallen behind other countries in establishing a national privacy law 

“I want to thank Mr. Pallone, Ms. Schakowsky, and of course Mr. Bilirakis for their leadership on this.’m eager to continue that work. This is a top priority for Americans and needs to be achieved through Congress.” 


“It’s important that we also take action to ensure the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. 

“The regulatory framework for AVs must be led by the U.S.  

“Again, this comes down to our values vs. The CCP’s. America values the importance of the safety of our citizens – China does not. We value our workforce and free market economics – China does not. We value civil society groups, and their right to speak freely – China does not. 

“To win the future, the U.S. must lead on AVs. We must chart the path so the road is one we design. 

“This can be the year we finally push past the barriers which have derailed the SELF DRIVE Act and other legislation from becoming law. 

“We can also build on the American COMPETE Act, legislation I sponsored in the 116th Congress, on promoting emerging technologies, which was enacted with provisions from many members of this committee.”  


“The best way to beat China is to spur innovation and remove unnecessary, burdensome regulatory barriers. We cannot, and shouldn’t even try, to beat China at their own game of massive government handouts and centralized industrial policy. 

“We won’t outspend them and authorizing billions of taxpayer dollars without removing burdensome red tape will only lead to waste. 

“Instead, we need to encourage innovation, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship, the backbones of our economy, and that can only be achieved with a government that encourages low barriers to entry for innovative technologies and startups and the adoption of emerging technologies that will improve people’s lives.  

“Ensuring federal agencies' actions don’t put undue burden on businesses and innovators will be a top priority this Congress.” 

“Whether it’s ensuring people’s online information is secure, charting an achievable path towards AV development and deployment in the U.S., or setting the global standards for AI and other emerging technologies, this subcommittee is at the center of it. 

“I look forward to working with every member on this panel to preserve our global leadership, strengthen our economic and national security, and beat China... my door is always open. 

“I want to thank all the witnesses for your being here today.  

“Your testimony will be crucial in educating our work moving forward this Congress.”