Some matters go beyond trade. When American infrastructure is under attack, we must keep our adversaries from taking control. So this week, FCC is taking action.
I love free trade. I’m a person who would support the unilateral elimination of all taxes on imports (tariffs), because I prefer a smaller government, lower taxes, and a government that doesn’t pick winners and losers in industry.
But China is a special case. As I mentioned last week, there is no such thing as a free market in China. Top Chinese corporations are under the direct control of the Communist Party and its army, the People’s Liberation Army.
Note that I said it’s the Party’s army, not the country’s army. The army is under the control of the Communist Party. That’s why the Party has its own Central Military Commission, and the leader of that organization tracks more closely to the current Paramount Leader than most other titles in the country. That’s the center of power in the country.
So think about what it means when various Chinese corporations are controlled by top party officials. That’s a true political-military-industrial complex, where all actions are under control of the party elites, and the power of the state is used to enforce that the right actions are taken. Anything a Chinese firm does in the United States is part of China’s foreign policy.
So should critical US infrastructure become dependent on Chinese merchandise, in a way that potentially allows Chinese backdoors to be an attack vector on our nation? Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, says no:
I’m proposing to prohibit use of @FCC Universal Service Funds to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose national security risk to US communications networks or communications supply chain. My statement: https://t.co/knjWU9uKmw (Proposal to be released tomorrow.)
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) March 26, 2018
Steel is steel, but complex computer systems can have tricks buried so deep that you’ll never catch them until it’s too late.