USICA and the COMPETES Act are both bipartisan bills that will bolster U.S. leadership in technological advancements and emerging technologies, including biometrics, artificial intelligence and robotics.
SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Security Industry Association (SIA) has expressed its support for and feedback on S. 1260, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), and H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act. SIA’s letter comes ahead of a Senate and House conference to reconcile the differences between the two pieces of bipartisan legislation, both of which will bolster U.S. leadership in developing and adopting innovative emerging technologies in order for domestic companies to remain globally competitive against U.S. adversaries.
In an April 11 letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), SIA made the following recommendations for consideration in the final conference report:
- SIA supports USICA’s authorization of $190 billion for federal research and development (R&D) activities, $29 billion in National Science Foundation funding and the inclusion of Sec. 2005 to invest in R&D, education and training, supply chain security and the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem.
- SIA supports USICA’s creation of an International Technology Partnership Office to harmonize key technology governance regimes with U.S. partners, coordinate on priority research and development initiatives and collaborate with U.S. allies to pursue such opportunities in key emerging technologies.
- SIA supports the America COMPETES Act’s sections 10226-10227, which include National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reauthorization and biometrics testing.
- SIA supports the America COMPETES Act’s Secs. 20201-20208, supply chain resiliency measures that create an Office of Manufacturing Security and Resilience within the U.S. Department of Commerce to address supply chain shocks and provide $45 billion in grant, loan and loan guarantee funds to manufacturers to assist with the production and shipment of qualified equipment.
- SIA encourages the conferees to include the America COMPETES Act’s Sec. 10522, which instructs NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership to further engage with historically Black colleges and universities and minority serving institutions to cultivate a diverse talent pipeline.
- SIA requests that the conferees robustly fund the CHIPS for America Act program, which supports the diversification, expansion and resiliency of the U.S. semiconductor supply chain.
“The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and the America COMPETES Act promote valuable investments in supply chain resiliency measures and federal R&D in areas like biometrics, AI and machine learning – emerging technologies that have a robust array of applications in security and life safety,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “For some time, SIA has placed a high priority upon advocating for supply chain assistance both in the short and long-term. SIA strongly supports the inclusion of an extraordinary level of financial assistance that will help to address long-term supply chain challenges as well as the potential advocacy for the manufacturing sector that could come through the new Office of Manufacturing Security and Resilience not long after adoption of final legislation by Congress. We encourage members of the House and Senate to reconcile some of the significant differences between these two pieces of legislation and work in a bipartisan manner to produce meaningful investments needed to reinforce the United States as the leader in developing cutting-edge technologies that impact our society and security.”
SIA previously expressed its strong support for the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act – formerly the Endless Frontier Act – when it was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.). Notably, the bill aims to strengthen U.S. leadership in critical technologies through research in key focus areas including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, high-performance computing, advanced computer hardware and software and robotics. Additionally, prior to passing in the Senate, the bill was amended to include “data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies and cybersecurity, including biometrics” as key focus areas, an addition supported by SIA and proposed by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.). Additionally, SIA applauded the House passage of the America COMPETES Act in February 2022, encouraging bipartisan efforts to in the House and Senate to reconcile the differences between the two pieces of legislation.
SIA is committed to promoting policies that support innovation in security and life safety technologies and supports U.S. leadership in key technology areas, including biometrics. SIA recently sent a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris urging the administration and Congress to consider policies that enable American leadership in developing biometric technologies; sent a letter to congressional leadership recommending how SIA members can build public trust surrounding the use of facial recognition technology; issued policy principles that guide the commercial sector, government agencies and law enforcement on how to use facial recognition in a responsible and ethical manner; released comprehensive public polling on support of facial recognition use across specific applications; and published a list of successful uses of the technology.
SIA is the leading trade association for global security solution providers, with over 1,200 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels, creating open industry standards that enable integration, advancing industry professionalism through learning and development, opening global market opportunities and collaborating with other like-minded organizations. As the premier sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities. SIA also enhances the position of its members in the security marketplace through SIA GovSummit, which brings together private industry with government decision makers, and Securing New Ground, the security industry’s top executive conference for peer-to-peer networking.