China may be continents away, but we feel its threats right here at home. After starting in China last year, the coronavirus has found its way to Texas, where Governor Abbott is keeping our state at the frontlines of federal efforts to fight the virus. Meanwhile, I’m working with my colleagues in Congress and President Trump’s Administration to ensure that all American workers, families, and businesses get the comprehensive, coordinated response they deserve.
When the coronavirus was first diagnosed, the Chinese government’s response was to censor information and lie, covering up the early spread of the deadly virus. By quarantining the truth, China only made the crisis much worse.
The coronavirus is just one of many threats from China that impact us all, including here in our district. It has already highlighted how dependent we as Americans are on China’s pharmaceutical products. Last year, 80 percent of all U.S. antibiotics and 95 percent of all U.S. ibuprofen were made in China. While we’ve banned Chinese wireless technology from our infrastructure, we overlook that China is exploiting supply chains of something much more familiar—like the ibuprofen millions of us take every day. Meanwhile, China continues to steal our intellectual property and trade secrets, costing our economy over $600 billion a year. China is actively working to infiltrate our universities to both steal information, as well as influence our nation’s academic leaders. Earlier this year, right here in Texas, we learned that over 100 faculty members were involved in one such Chinese recruitment program—but thankfully its response to China’s assault on our academic freedom was so strong that even the Trump Administration took notice.
Some threats from China are more obvious. China is continuing to develop a space program on track to rival our own, and now boasts more successful annual space launches than the U.S. I am proud Texas—home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center— plays a frontline role in our country’s next great space race.
I am even prouder that Texas’ contribution to our national defense comes right out of our local community, where our world-class workforce builds the F-35 jets keeping our country and our allies’ skies safe and secure from enemies like China. Earlier this year I brought my friend, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, to Fort Worth for a tour of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 plant, where he saw firsthand our talented engineers and workers building the world’s most lethal fighter jets that are capable of beating China. I am especially proud that North Texas’ talented, patriotic workforce continues to work and fight for our common defense during these trying times.
I am working on your behalf here in Washington to make sure our country has the resources needed to counter China’s threat to our security and the American way of life. In this difficult time for our Nation, China’s threat to our lives and livelihoods could not be more obvious.
In Texas, we’re known for doing everything bigger and better, and we should be proud of our state’s Texas-sized role in defending our nation, especially against threats like China.