The Biden Administration Highlights a New Alleged National Security Threat: Cheap Cranes From China

Amid cooling relations between Washington and Beijing, U.S. officials and politicians in the capital have issued multiple alerts regarding potential Chinese risks to national security, encompassing telecoms equipment, biotechnology, and even acquisitions of U.S. farmland. Presently, the White House is spotlighting another potential national security concern: the presence of over 200 ship-to-shore cranes manufactured in China at U.S. ports.

According to Yahoo, part of Washington’s strategy is a $20 billion investment over the next five years to improve U.S. port infrastructure, including domestic crane production. The money will come from funds appropriated for the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.

These funds will support the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese firm Mitsui to produce cranes domestically. It’s the first time they’ve been made in the U.S. for 30 years, according to officials.

U.S. ports employ 31 million Americans and contribute $5.4 trillion to the economy, according to figures from the White House.

Cranes from China “account for nearly 80% of cranes at U.S. ports,” Rear Admiral John Vann, head of the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command, told reporters. These cranes can be controlled, serviced and programmed from remote locations, Vann said, making them vulnerable to exploitation.

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