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VIDEO: Peters Underscores Need for Continued Strategic Investments in U.S. Manufacturing to Counter the Chinese Government

During the Same Hearing, Peters Also Asked Defense Secretary Austin About Department of Defense’s Collaboration with Department of Homeland Security on Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON, DC – During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) asked U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to ensure the Department of Commerce has an economic competitiveness strategy to counter the Chinese government by investing in American manufacturing. In the same hearing, Peters asked U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin how the Department of Defense benefits from the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to protect federal civilian systems and critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks.  

“I’m particularly focused on ensuring that we’re competing and winning at every single level of our economy. That means both in attracting and retaining talent in STEM and technology, innovation, including AI, as well as making sure that America’s manufacturing sector remains the best in the world,” said Senator Peters. “I don't believe you can really be a great country unless you actually make things and manufacturing is absolutely essential to that.”

“…If the U.S. is going to be a leader in the future of the automotive industry, we have to find ways to not only develop autonomous vehicle technology here in America, but we actually have to manufacture it here in America and deploy it in our country as well. That’s why I've worked on legislation to ensure that America can manufacture this cutting edge technology – so we don't lose the race with China. China is investing massive amounts of money in this technology,” he continued.

In response, Secretary Raimondo agreed we need to continue to invest in American manufacturing. She said the Commerce Department is requesting funding for increased investments in the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which Peters has championed, and has requested funding to establish a supply chain office within the Commerce Department that can help proactively respond to supply chain threats and help revitalize American manufacturing.

Increasing investments in American manufacturing has been one of Peters’ top priorities in the Senate. The CHIPS and Science Act included Peters’ bipartisan Investing in Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing Act, which would ensure federal incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing include U.S. suppliers. The CHIPS and Science Act also authorized increased funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program and in the most recent government funding bill signed into law, Peters secured an additional $188 million for MEPs like Michigan’s Manufacturing Technology Center.

As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports, Peters is also focused on ensuring there is a federal framework to safely develop, test and deploy advanced vehicle technologies that will drive the future of mobility. He held a hearing to assess how automotive innovation in the U.S. will influence the future of vehicle safety, mobility, and technology in a global economy. In a field hearing Peters convened in Detroit, experts examined how Congress can unlock innovation for electric and autonomous vehicles by increasing domestic production of semiconductor chips and other technologies, while also delivering economic, environmental, and safety benefits for the American people.

To watch video of Senator Peters’ question about strategic investments in American manufacturing, click here or on the image below.

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During the hearing, Peters also asked Defense Secretary Austin how the Department of Defense (DoD) partners with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect federal civilian systems and critical infrastructure from cybersecurity threats posed by the Chinese government.

“China is a persistent and ever-evolving cybersecurity threat to our nation, as well as our federal government systems,” said Senator Peters. “Given the Department of Defense’s position in both countering the Chinese government through CYBERCOM, as well as protecting DoD systems from cyber-attacks, could you discuss how the DoD empowers and benefits from the Department of Homeland Security's mission to protect federal civilian systems as well as critical infrastructure here in the homeland?”

In response, Secretary Austin agreed that the Chinese government poses a persistent cybersecurity threat. He emphasized the importance of DoD and DHS collaboration to protect the United States from these threats.

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led efforts to ensure our nation is better prepared to defend against cyber-attacks. His historic, bipartisan provision to require critical infrastructure owners and operators to report to CISA if they experience a substantial cyber-attack or if they make a ransomware payment was signed into law. Peters’ bipartisan bill to enhance cybersecurity assistance to K-12 educational institutions across the country was also signed into law. Peters’ bipartisan bills to bolster cybersecurity for state and local governments, strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce, and help secure federal information technology supply chains have been signed into law.

To watch video of Senator Peters’ question about efforts to protect the federal government’s cybersecurity, click here or on the image below. 

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