March 07, 2023

Manchin, Bipartisan Colleagues Introduce RESTRICT Act to Protect Americans Online, Defend National Security from Foreign Technology

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee, led a group of 12 bipartisan Senators in introducing the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act to address the ongoing threats posed by foreign technology products to American economic and national security. The legislation would establish a comprehensive, risk-based process through the Department of Commerce to evaluate and mitigate such foreign threats.
“Over the past several years, foreign adversaries of the United States have encroached on American markets through technology products that steal sensitive location data and identifying information of U.S. citizens, including social media platforms like TikTok. This dangerous new internet infrastructure poses serious risks to our nation’s economic and national security,” said Senator Manchin. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan RESTRICT ACT, which will empower the Department of Commerce to adopt a comprehensive approach to evaluating and mitigating these threats posed by foreign technology products and investments. The legislation would also fill a gap in our foreign investment review process while weeding out the bad actors from the companies that simply want to invest in the U.S. As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this critical legislation across the finish line.”
The legislation would:
  • Codify and improve a set of rules that was created under the Trump Administration and expanded upon by the Biden Administration, whereby the Secretary of Commerce can review transactions involving information and communication technology products from adversarial nations.
  • Require the Secretary of Commerce to establish procedures to identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit and mitigate transactions involving information and communications technology products in which any foreign adversary has any interest and poses undue or unacceptable risk to national security;
  • Prioritize evaluation of information communications and technology products used in critical infrastructure, integral to telecommunications products, or pertaining to a range of defined emerging, foundational, and disruptive technologies with serious national security implications;
  • Empower the Secretary to impose mitigation measures – up to and including banning certain products – to protect the national security of the United States from threats posed by foreign technology.
  • Educate the public and business community about the threat by requiring the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with the Director of National Intelligence to provide declassified information on how transactions denied or otherwise mitigated posed undue or unacceptable risk.
Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), John Thune (R-SD), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Mitt Romney (R-UT).

The full text of the legislation is available here.