Rep. Paul Cook and a Texas Democrat have introduced bipartisan legislation to try to make it harder for China and other countries to make counterfeit U.S. electronics.
Cook, R-Apple Valley, and Rep. Gene Green of Texas have reintroduced HR 917, the Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA). This national security bill stops the flow of e-waste to China and other countries that regularly counterfeit American electronics. If passed and signed into law by President Trump, the bill would ensure that such waste does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may re-enter military and civilian electronics in the U.S.
“China regularly counterfeits electronics and puts these dangerous products, including critical military equipment, back into the market,” Cook said in a written statement. “These electronic components threaten the reliability and safety of a wide range of technology. SEERA will ensure we’re not exporting electronic scrap materials that come back to us as counterfeit parts and undermine the reliability of technology essential to our national security.”
SEERA addresses an issue first identified in a Senate Armed Services Committee study that found 1,800 cases of counterfeit parts in military technology. According to Cook’s office, the Senate study concluded that “there is no way to predict how well they [counterfeit chips] will perform, how long they will last, and the full impact of failure.” Defense experts have also raised concerns that malware can be placed on counterfeits to help hackers and cyber-terrorists launch attacks.
SEERA would stop the flow of e-waste from the United States that is undermining our national security by requiring domestic recycling of all untested, nonworking electronics. By keeping these materials in the United States, they would kept out the hands of counterfeiters and data thieves.
Also under SEERA, the export of tested working equipment will continue and is expected to grow, potentially creating tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs. Customs and Border Protection would be authorized to inspect shipments of electronic products intended for export and would stop the shipment and hold the shipper accountable.
“Electronic waste is the fastest growing segment of our domestic waste stream,” Green said in a statement. “This problem will continue to grow unless Congress acts to ensure that e-waste is recycled responsibly in the United States and out of the hands of overseas counterfeiters. The Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA) will help ensure our servicemen and women have reliable systems to protect us while creating thousands of jobs in Texas and around the country. I have worked on e-waste for a decade and look forward to Congress holding hearings on this bipartisan legislation and seeing it come before the House for a vote.”
Cook, vice chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is also a member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees, represents the 8th District in Congress. It includes all of the Victor Valley and Barstow.