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March 21, 2023
The United States Congress has passed a new bill that will hopefully protect taxpayer-funded US technology from ending up in China for manufacturing.
The Invent Here, Make Here Act was introduced in September by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wi.) and Rob Portman (R-Oh.), in a bipartisan attempt to keep state-of-the-art technology that is invented in the United States secret from foreign governments and ensure the tech is being manufactured domestically. The bill is designed to “better ensure products invented as a result of funding provided by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) are manufactured in the United States,” according to Baldwin.
The bill was drafted last year after technology for a cutting edge US-invented vanadium redox flow battery, which could potentially be used to power entire homes, was given to China as part of a licensing transfer by the US Department of Energy. The tech that was developed and paid for by US citizens is now being manufactured in Dalian, China, according to an NPR investigation.
The DoE is required to keep most of its manufacturing in the United States, but often sidesteps the requirement to send manufacturing overseas, according to NPR. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm acknowledged the issue in an interview this week. “So many of our legacy laws have huge loopholes. There’s a lot of additional action we can take,” said Granholm.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE NEW YORK TIMES