Issa, Gallagher, Barr, Ricketts Demand Biden Administration Pause on STA Renewal Negotiations with PRC

Issa: “It can no longer be technology shared – and then technology stolen”

Washington – Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-48) and Republican colleagues Mike Gallagher (WI-8), Andy Barr (KY-6), as well as Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) have sent a letter to Biden Administration officials calling for a halt on negotiations to renew the U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement (STA).

The letter was sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in response to ongoing talks by U.S. officials to renew the agreement with the PRC.

The letter outlines concerns over the CCP’s exploitation of American innovation and threats to national security while stating the need to allow Congress the opportunity to address the issue legislatively. This was highlighted in an exclusive piece from the New York Post.

An excerpt of the letter:

The STA, first signed in 1979, is the first major agreement between Washington and Beijing following diplomatic normalization. Decades later, it is clear that the benefits of scientific cooperation have overwhelmingly flowed one way. Dangerously, the CCP also routinely attempts to exploit civilian research and research partnerships for military purposes. Meanwhile the CCP’s rampant, unlawful intellectual property theft is well documented and has reportedly cost the United States hundreds of billions per year.

Given that Congress intends to legislate on this matter, we request that you pause negotiations until this work is complete. At a minimum, given the importance of this issue and the growing legislative attention, it is essential that elected representatives in Congress are provided the opportunity to thoroughly review and assess any negotiated text before an extension is signed.

“Renewal of the STA will only allow for the continued exploitation of American innovation and research by our nation’s largest competitor in technological advancement. It is evident that the scale is tilted in favor of the CCP in this agreement, and in the interest of protecting American innovators and national security, the STA must not be renewed,” said Rep. Issa. “My colleagues and I cannot more strongly urge the Biden Administration to halt current negotiations and allow Congress to take up this matter.”

“For years, thanks to its strategy of military-civil fusion, the Chinese Communist Party has abused the openness of the American scientific community to steal American research and coopt it for its own malign purposes, including to surveil the Chinese public and strengthen its military-industrial complex. Amid rumors that the Biden administration will try to quietly extend the Science and Technology Agreement between the US and China, my colleagues and I request they pause any negotiations as Congress fine tunes legislation in the best interest of the American people,” said Rep. Gallagher.

“The Chinese Communist Party will manipulate or disregard any and all rules in their quest to gain technological and military advantages. That’s why I introduced the Science and Technology Agreement Enhanced Congressional Notification Act to strengthen oversight of science and technology agreements. Given the Biden administration’s failure to stand up to the CCP time and time again, continuing with negotiations would be a major national security risk. They should stop negotiations until Congress has had the opportunity to weigh in,” stated Senator Ricketts.

“When the U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement (STA) was signed, it was the common hope that greater integration with the West would lead the People’s Republic of China to more liberalization and the adoption of a rules-based order. We now know that China’s response to this olive branch from the United States has been decades of intellectual property theft, technology transfer, and other subversive actions in severe violation of the spirit of the original agreement. As the Biden Administration prepares for another meeting with General Secretary Xi, this Administration should pause any new STA agreement and Congress should pass my legislation, the Science and Technology Agreement Enhanced Congressional Notification Act to ensure any cooperation is truly in the interest of the United States,” said Rep. Barr.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Darrell Issa is the Representative of California’s 48th Congressional District. The District encompasses the central and eastern parts of San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County, including the communities of Fallbrook, Valley Center, Ramona, Escondido, Santee, Lakeside, Poway, Temecula, Murrieta, and the mountain and desert areas of the San Diego-Imperial County line. Issa served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2011-2015.