Romney Joins Bipartisan Legislation to Ban Purchase of Drones Manufactured in Countries Identified as National Security Threats

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ranking Member of Homeland Security’s Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee, signed onto the bipartisan American Security Drone Act of 2023, legislation to prohibit the purchase of drones from countries identified as national security threats, such as China. Romney joined this legislation following a Homeland Security Subcommittee Hearing when a witness raised concerns about U.S. public safety agencies using drones manufactured in China.

Led by Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rick Scott (R-FL), this legislation is also co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Josh Hawley (R-MO). Full text of the American Security Drone Act can be found here.

“We know that the Chinese Communist Party will use every tool at its disposal to become a global power,” said Sen. Romney. “It makes absolutely no sense for our government—from federal all the way down to states and localities—to use drones manufactured in countries that threaten our national security. I’m proud to join this bipartisan legislation that will help safeguard our data, and make it harder for the CCP to spy on our citizens.”

“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,” said Sen. Warner. “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.”

“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,” said Sen. Scott. “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.”

Specifically, the American Security Drone Act:

  • Prohibits 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 provides a timeline to end current use of these drones.
  • Prohibits 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.
  • Requires 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.