American Security Drone Act Awaits Biden’s Response

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The act bans federal agencies from purchasing or operating non-secure drones, particularly from Chinese manufacturers.

The Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes the American Security Drone Act (ASDA), has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is now awaiting President Biden’s signature. The ASDA, detailed under Subtitle H in the NDAA text, aims to restrict the usage of drones made in China by federal entities or federally funded drone programs.

Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA), along with Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Chair of the Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party, and Joe Courtney (D-CT), introduced the ASDA.

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Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) emphasized in a November statement the importance of the U.S. not using drones made by adversaries, stating that in order to maintain an edge in great power competition, it’s imperative that the U.S. government avoids using drones manufactured by our adversaries. He expressed pride in reintroducing the ASDA with bipartisan support, highlighting its role in enhancing American dominance and competitiveness in the drone market, safeguarding against intellectual property theft and data security breaches by the Chinese Communist Party, and strengthening national security.

The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), a drone advocacy group, has expressed support for the ASDA’s inclusion in the NDAA. AUVSI Chief Advocacy Officer Michael Robbins stated that AUVSI applauds Congress for integrating the American Security Drone Act into the FY 2024 NDAA. Banning federal agencies from purchasing or operating non-secure drones, particularly those from Chinese manufacturers, is a crucial step to shield our nation from cyber threats, espionage, and sabotage. We urge President Biden to promptly enact this law.

Robbins added that sensible, specifically targeted country of origin drone restrictions like those in the ASDA are essential for U.S. national security. AUVSI is dedicated to collaborating with Congress and the Biden Administration through the Partnership for Drone Competitiveness to promote policies that support America’s domestic drone industry, ensure U.S. leadership in advanced aviation, and provide a fair competitive field for domestic and allied drone manufacturers against foreign subsidized rivals. It’s crucial to end America’s dependency on foreign adversaries for drone technology.

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