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US: Biden orders investigation into security risks of Chinese-made cars

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Washington, DC | March 1, 2024 12:55:23 PM IST
US President Joe Biden has ordered US Secretary of Commerce to conduct an investigation into possible security risks of Chinese-manufactured cars, The Washington Post reported.

In a statement released by White House, Biden stated, "I am announcing unprecedented actions to ensure that cars on US roads from countries of concern like China do not undermine our national security. I have directed my Secretary of Commerce to conduct an investigation into connected vehicles with technology from countries of concern and to take action to respond to the risks."

Biden noted that China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by use of unfair means. He said that China's policies could flood US' market with its vehicles, posing risks to US' national security.

He stated that majority of cars these days are connected to mobile phones, navigation, critical infrastructure and to the companies which have manufactured them. He stressed that connected vehicles from China could gather sensitive date about Americans and their infrastructure and send the information to China.

In a statement, Biden stated, "China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by using unfair practices. China's policies could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security. I'm not going to let that happen on my watch." "Most cars these days are "connected" - they are like smart phones on wheels. These cars are connected to our phones, to navigation systems, to critical infrastructure, and to the companies that made them. Connected vehicles from China could collect sensitive data about our citizens and our infrastructure and send this data back to the People's Republic of China. These vehicles could be remotely accessed or disabled," he added.

While announcing the investigation, Biden expressed his desire to ensure that the future of auto industry will remain in the US. He said, "With this and other actions, we are going to make sure the future of the auto industry will be made here in America with American workers.

In the statement, Biden said, "China imposes restrictions on American autos and other foreign autos operating in China. Why should connected vehicles from China be allowed to operate in our country without safeguards?"

The investigation, led by the US Commerce Department, will not place any immediate restrictions on the import or sale of Chinese-manufactured automobiles, The Washington Post reported citing administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday (local time). According to the officials, the agency does not have the authority to ban or restrict sales if it finds any serious risks.

The officals said many of the vehicles in question are electric. However, its not their electric motors that pose a concern, but their use of high-tech software, cameras and sensors that could be used to gather data or sabotage vehicles.

The decision announced by Biden echoes the US administration's campaign against the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which the United States accused of posing security risks to communications infrastructure, according to The Washington Post report.

The US has banned the import or sale of Huawei's telecom-network gear. The US administration has also urged allied nations not to use it. Chinese-based telecom company Huawei has accused the US of using national security as an excuse to clobber a globally competitive rival.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that investigation will help the agency to find whether the executive order issued under the Trump administration that gave the US President new powers to protect domestic information and communications technology from national security threats, The Washington Post reported.

In a call with journalists, Raimondo said, "Imagine if there were thousands of Chinese vehicles on American roads that could be immediately disabled by somebody in Beijing. It's scary to contemplate." She added, "We are doing [the investigation] now before Chinese-manufactured vehicles become widespread in the United States and potentially threaten our national security." (ANI)

 
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