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Senators Rick Scott and Mark Warner Introduce Legislation To Ban Purchase Of Drones Manufactured In Countries Identified As National Security Threats

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Press Release

By Senators Rick Scott and Mark Warner

02-25-23

~ The American Security Drone Act would safeguard national security while supporting domestic development of unmanned systems ~

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Mark Warner to introduce their American Security Drone Act which would prohibit the purchase of drones from countries identified as national security threats, such as China.  

Senator Rick Scott said, “I’ve been clear for years: the United States should never spend taxpayer dollars on anything made in Communist China, especially drones which pose a significant threat to our national security. Xi and the Communist Party of China are on a quest for global domination and whether it’s with spy balloons, TikTok or drones, they will stop at nothing to infiltrate our society and steal our data. I’m proud to join my colleagues to reintroduce the bipartisan American Security Drone Act to STOP the U.S. from buying drones manufactured in nations identified as national security threats. This important bill is critical to our national security and should be passed by the Senate, House and signed into law IMMEDIATELY.”

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the American Security Drone Act of 2023, legislation to prohibit the purchase of drones from countries identified as national security threats, such as China.  

“I am a staunch supporter of unmanned systems and drone investment here in the United States, and I wholeheartedly believe that we must continue to invest in domestic production of drones,” said Sen. Warner. “But the purchase of drones from foreign countries, especially those that have been deemed a national security threat, is dangerous. I am glad to introduce legislation that takes logical steps to protect our data from foreign adversaries and meanwhile supports American manufacturers.” 

“I’ve been clear for years: the United States should never spend taxpayer dollars on anything made in Communist China, especially drones which pose a significant threat to our national security,” said Sen. Scott. “Xi and the Communist Party of China are on a quest for global domination and whether it’s with spy balloons, TikTok or drones, they will stop at nothing to infiltrate our society and steal our data. I’m proud to join my colleagues to reintroduce the bipartisan American Security Drone Act to STOP the U.S. from buying drones manufactured in nations identified as national security threats. This important bill is critical to our national security and should be passed by the Senate, House and signed into law IMMEDIATELY.”

Specifically, The American Security Drone Act:

  • Prohibits federal departments and agencies from procuring certain foreign commercial off-the-shelf drone or covered unmanned aircraft system manufactured or assembled in countries identified as national security threats, and provides a timeline to end current use of these drones.
  • Prohibits the use of federal funds awarded through certain contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to state or local governments from being used to purchase foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones or covered unmanned aircraft systems manufactured or assembled in a country identified as a national security threat.
  • Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress detailing the amount of foreign commercial off-the-shelf drones and covered unmanned aircraft systems procured by federal departments and agencies from countries identified as national security threats.

In addition to Sens. Warner and Scott, the legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

Sen. Warner is a strong supporter of the domestic production of unmanned systems, including driverless cars, drones, and unmanned maritime vehicles. Earlier this month, Sen. Warner introduced the Increasing Competitiveness for American Drones Act, legislation that will clear the way for drones to be used for commercial transport of goods across the country.

Full text of the legislation is available here.

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