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Senators want to ban foreign drone purchasing to protect national security

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The American Security Drone Act of 2023 was introduced by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner of Virginia and Rick Scott of Florida a couple weeks ago.

The legislation would prohibit the purchase of drones from countries identified as national security threats to the U.S., including China, and support domestic development of unmanned systems.

“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,” Warner said. “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.”

The American Security Drone Act would:

  • Prohibit 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 provide a timeline to end current use of these drones.
  • Prohibit 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.
  • Require 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.

“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,” Scott said. 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.”

Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.