Chinese attacks on U.S. security concern McSally, GOP colleagues

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) joined a group of 17 Republican senators in requesting that the president aggressively continue to protect America’s national security by scrutinizing any transactions or investments by the Chinese government or privately owned enterprises.

“We must not forget that this pandemic — with all the ramifications it has for our security and prosperity — is taking place in the context of great power competition. Our adversaries will not hesitate to capitalize on this crisis at the expense of the United States,” Sen. McSally and her colleagues wrote in an April 9 letter sent to President Donald Trump. “We must not allow this to happen. We ask that you remain especially vigilant against this threat at this dynamic and uncertain time.”

Sen. McSally and her colleagues asked the president to solicit advice and feedback from the U.S. Secretary of Defense “to ensure we are prepared, if necessary, to augment the authorities and resources that maintain and protect U.S. defense industrial base capabilities.”

They also requested that the president continue to use authorities authorized under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review any transaction or investment by People’s Republic of China state-owned or private enterprises that could threaten or undermine U.S. national security.

“There is clear and compelling evidence that our competitors see this as an opportunity to enhance their strategic position in key industries while other nations are paralyzed by the coronavirus pandemic,” wrote the senators. “Specifically, the Chinese Communist Party and its vast political-industrial apparatus will undoubtedly prey upon cash-strapped American companies during this crisis.”

Sen. McSally and the lawmakers said that the U.S. must shore up the entirety of its strategic supply chain, including ensuring timely access to U.S. and foreign investment that stabilizes and sustains small high-tech companies supporting the nation’s large- and mid-tier defense contractors.

“As cash flow becomes ever more constrained, these smaller companies may soon find themselves at a dangerous inflection point, at which funding from our adversaries could present the only perceived option for survival,” they wrote. “We must not allow this to occur.”

Among the senators joining Sen. McSally in signing the letter were U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).