WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) introduced several amendments to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) aimed at confronting China’s growing aggression and the threat it poses to U.S. national security, intellectual property, and technology. He also introduced amendments to limit the reduction of U.S. troops deployed to Germany and to support the role of Utah in U.S. national security. The NDAA is being considered on the Senate floor this week.
“Addressing the threat that China poses to our fundamental values of freedom, human rights, and free enterprise is the central challenge facing us in the 21st century. We must take decisive action now to confront China’s growing aggression and dissuade them from pursuing a predatory path around the world,” Senator Romney said. “These amendments would strengthen relationships with our allies to develop a unified approach to China, address cybersecurity threats and intellectual property theft, examine the national security implications of the Russia to China gas pipeline, and monitor mineral investments under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. I am also proud to have worked with Senator Lee on an amendment that recognizes Utah’s important role in our national security by supporting Dugway Proving Ground in Tooele County.”
SUMMARY OF ROMNEY AMENDMENTS:
- Prevent Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Germany: limits the use of funds to reduce or relocate the total number of members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty who are deployed to Germany until DoD certifies certain conditions, including that troop reductions would not negatively impact U.S. national security interests, ongoing operations, military families, or incur significant costs. It also requires a report on the potential impact of the proposed troop reductions and specific plans for relocations. (Cosponsors: Graham, Rubio, Coons, Kaine, Shaheen)
- Indo-Pacific Cooperation: establishes the policy of the U.S. to work in collaboration with allies and like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific and around the world to form a unified approach to China. (Cosponsors: Coons, Hassan, Cortez Masto)
- Reports on Comparison of Defense Spending: directs DoD to conduct comprehensive reports comparing U.S. military spending with the relative Chinese and Russian defense budgets, including costs on personnel, maintenance, procurement, and research and development. (Cosponsors: King, Shaheen)
- Monitoring China’s Mineral Development: requires an assessment of Chinese investments in minerals and development of a monitoring mechanism for such investments under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
- Report on Russia-China Gas Pipeline: requires the DNI to report to Congress on a Russia-China gas pipeline, including any national security implications of the pipeline for the U.S. and its allies.
- Report on China IP Thefts: requires a report on the theft of intellectual property, including intellectual property pivotal to the COVID-19 response, by Chinese persons in the U.S., and an assessment of stolen IP being exported back into the U.S. or allied nations.
- Updated Report on Weapons Systems’ Cybersecurity: requires an update to a 2018 report that identified significant cyber vulnerabilities in U.S. weapons systems.
- Protecting Utah’s Dugway Proving Ground: requires a report on reductions to DoD’s Chemical and Biological Defense program, which includes Dugway Proving Ground in Tooele County, Utah, and the impact of potential cuts on national security threats. (Cosponsor: Lee)