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Cyberspace Solarium Commission Proposes Strategy to Create Trusted ICT Supply Chains

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission has released a white paper that presents a five-pillar strategy to establish trusted supply chains for critical information and communications technologies.

The strategy calls for the U.S. to identify key technologies and equipment through public-private partnerships and government assessments; ensure minimum viable manufacturing capacity; protect supply chain from compromise through information sharing, product testing and better intelligence; stimulate a domestic market via targeted infrastructure investment; and ensure global competitiveness.

“Over the past two decades, China has mobilized state-owned and state-influenced companies to grab a dominant position in markets for several emerging technologies, including the market for telecommunications equipment,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., co-chairs of the commission, wrote in the white paper.

The document also offers five key recommendations to secure ICT supply chains and the first one calls for Congress to direct the executive branch to come up and implement an ICT industrial base strategy.

Congress should order the Department of Homeland Security in collaboration with the departments of Defense, State and Commerce to identify ICT and related materials through government review and industry consultation and direct the Department of Commerce to carry out a viability study of localities fit for economic clustering.

The white paper recommends that the president designate a lead agency to coordinate and integrate government and civilian supply chain management initiatives into a national strategy.

The Federal Communications Commission should link 5G infrastructure investment to interoperable and open standards and work with DoD and the National Telecommunications and Information Agency to help establish a robust domestic telecommunications market by facilitating the release of more mid-band spectrum.

“In this white paper, the Commission proposes a path forward that will bring the various activities of the U.S. government and of partner nations together to form a comprehensive strategy, with the cooperation of industry, to ensure the continued availability and trustworthiness of critical ICT technologies and to counter Chinese economic aggression,” King and Gallagher noted.

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