Dear Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Chairman Leahy, and Vice Chairman Shelby:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce thanks Congress for authorizing both the Public Wireless Supply Chain Fund and the Multilateral Telecommunications Security Fund (“Funds) last year. I am writing to you today in support of Congress appropriating resources to both Funds.
Authorized in Section 9202 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2021, these Funds are consistent with the Chamber's principles for the accelerated deployment of next-generation, secure and trusted telecommunication equipment in the U.S. and abroad, including:
- Facilitating technology-neutral policies, which support open, interoperable, and virtualized solutions;
- Encouraging competition among existing vendors in the near term and avoid mandates by regulation or government contract use of specific technologies or specifications.
- Accelerating the deployment of all 5G technologies and use cases;
- Supporting investments in innovation and research and development (R&D), with a focus on foundational next-generation (such as 6G) R&D;
- Upholding fair processes in standards-setting bodies;
- Providing strong intellectual property rights for innovators; and
- Expanding markets for trusted vendors in allied countries.
Supply chain security and resilience are fundamental to both the economic and national security of the U.S. and our allies. Over the past several years, there has been a consolidation in the number of telecommunications equipment vendors, coupled with a significant rise in market share and penetration by certain high-risk vendors. Promoting secure and trusted supply chains, regardless of the generation of technology, is of global interest and will require a common solution. These Funds will provide critical investments to ensure that trusted suppliers can compete on performance and features with America’s strategic rivals.
The Chamber looks forward to working with you in a bipartisan manner to ensure Congress provides appropriate resources to these Funds. It is critical to support a diverse supply chain with competitively-priced, innovative solutions that can compete at scale with high-risk vendors.
Neil L. Bradley