WASHINGTON – In an exclusive op-ed published on Fox News, Competitiveness Coalition Chair Scott Brown and Former National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien urged Congress to focus on countering China’s global ambitions rather than continuing to push antitrust legislation that would weaken the American tech industry.
“To check China’s ambitions, U.S. lawmakers should advocate for policies that strengthen America across the board, from rebuilding our military to encouraging innovation in the private sector,” write Brown and O’Brien, who served together in the previous administration. “Instead, some in Congress are advancing an agenda that undermines America’s leading tech innovators, one of the last areas where the U.S. maintains an advantage over Communist China.”
Brown and O’Brien focus on three pieces of legislation – the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), Open App Markets Act and Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) – that would deeply harm the U.S. tech sector and squash private industry’s critical contributions to innovation and competitiveness.
“Constraining American tech companies is detrimental to our national security and will undercut the prosperity that such enterprises have fostered for the past three decades,” they add
If America loses its competitive edge by passing anti-innovation legislation, “China’s position will grow and grow fast. America will, in turn, suffer.”
Launched in April 2022, the Competitiveness Coalition is a first-of-its-kind group educating the public and advocating for policies that put consumers first while fostering innovation and attracting new investment.
Scott Brown and Robert C. O’Brien
Unlike U.S. legislation that punishes our best companies, the CCP’s “Made In China 2025,” plan aims to overtake the U.S. in every facet of global high-tech manufacturing – A.I., robotics and cyber, to name a few.
Unlike China’s state-run industrial operations, it is the private sector – not the government – that drives U.S. innovation. Most of the research and development responsible for our edge in military platforms, space exploration, communication technologies, and life-saving vaccines, is paid for by private sector companies. They invest their own time, resources, personnel, and capital to invent the tools that we will use in the future. Last year alone, the top six U.S. tech companies spent a combined $140 billion in research and development. To put that number in perspective, it is $30 billion more than the Pentagon spent on research and development.
Constraining American tech companies is detrimental to our national security and will undercut the prosperity that such enterprises have fostered for the past three decades.
While some in Congress distrust and villainize the tech sector, our partners and adversaries alike understand what an asset the tech sector is to our nation. A Wall Street Journal headline declared, “Big Tech Is the West’s Surprise Weapon in Competition With Russia, China.”
Indeed, in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, American tech companies swung into action. Elon Musk’s Starlink helped Ukrainians communicate with their soldiers on the front lines, especially in remote regions. Microsoft played a key role disrupting Russian cyberattacks on key Ukrainian institutions. Meta and Google helped to thwart Russian propaganda. These companies have played an incredibly key role in maintaining Ukraine’s freedom.
While there are legitimate concerns about censorship and disinformation on tech platforms, creating a new antitrust regime that could break up our most successful companies is not the right response. Current antitrust laws, which focus on consumer welfare, are working.
Read the full op-ed at Fox News’ website here.
The Competitiveness Coalition is a first-of-its-kind group educating the public and advocating for policies that put consumers first while fostering innovation and attracting new investment.