U.S. House Committee Passes Biosecure Act to Limit Ties with Chinese Biotech Firms

Skylar Hawthorne

Updated Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 11:20 AM CDT

U.S. House Committee Passes Biosecure Act to Limit Ties with Chinese Biotech Firms

In a significant move to safeguard America's healthcare data and reduce reliance on Chinese biotechnology, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has approved the Biosecure Act, targeting firms like BGI and WuXi AppTec. The bill, needing full House and Senate approval before President Joe Biden's sign-off, sets a 2032 deadline for U.S. companies to cut ties with certain Chinese biotech firms, emphasizing national security concerns raised by Republican Representative James Comer and others.

The legislation, mirroring a Senate-approved bill, would bar federal agencies from contracting with and ban contracts with companies using equipment or services from these Chinese firms. Despite a rise in shares of the affected companies in Hong Kong and their defense against allegations, U.S. officials, including bipartisan Senators, stress the urgency to counter China's influence in biotech and AI sectors.

With WuXi Biologics and WuXi AppTec heavily relying on the U.S. market, and BGI considering an exit from the U.S. if the bill passes, the stakes are high. Representatives from both parties, such as Raja Krishnamoorthi and Brad Wenstrup, argue that American funds should not bolster biotech companies aiding China's access to U.S. genomic data.

The Biosecure Act's advancement coincides with a bipartisan Senate push, led by Chuck Schumer and others, for a $32 billion investment in AI research. This move is part of a broader strategy to maintain the U.S. lead over China in AI technology and address concerns over China's potential misuse of AI for election interference, bioweapons, or cyberattacks.

In response to China's significant AI advancements and planned investments, Schumer announced forthcoming legislation to boost U.S. competitiveness in AI and technology, focusing on non-defense applications and export controls to prevent China from acquiring advanced AI tools.

While the Biden administration and lawmakers have faced challenges in passing AI legislation, efforts continue, with Senator Mike Rounds emphasizing the long-term benefits for taxpayers and Schumer expressing hope for legislative progress by year's end. This all-of-government approach to AI research and development signals the U.S.'s determination to lead in the technological race against global rivals like China and Russia.

Conservative Bias:

Folks, here we have yet another example of the weak-kneed liberals finally waking up to the threat the Chinese Communist Party poses to our great nation. The Biosecure Act, which should have been common sense from the start, is only now getting traction because the leftists have spent years coddling China, allowing them to steal our technology and infiltrate our markets. Now, they're scrambling to close the barn door after the horse has bolted, with this too-little-too-late legislation. It's clear that the Democrats' obsession with globalization and their soft stance on China have endangered our national security and handed over our genomic data to a regime that can't wait to use it against us. It's about time they started listening to the Republicans who've been sounding the alarm on this issue for years. But don't be fooled, this sudden turnabout is nothing but political theater to cover their tracks before the next election cycle.

Liberal Bias:

Conservatives are at it again with their xenophobic fear-mongering, using the Biosecure Act as a smokescreen to distract from their own failures. They're quick to point fingers at China, but let's not forget who rolled out the red carpet for foreign interference in our markets and data systems: the very same Republicans who are now pretending to champion national security. This bill, while necessary to protect our biotech and AI sectors, reeks of the GOP's classic tactic of creating a foreign boogeyman to unify their base. Meanwhile, they conveniently ignore the real threats to our democracy, like voter suppression and the erosion of civil liberties. It's the height of hypocrisy for the right-wing to tout this as a victory when they've been the ones putting corporate profits over the privacy and security of the American people for decades.

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