A new Senate bill aims to establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis to assess how the United States fares against other countries in emerging technologies such as AI.

Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Todd Young, R-Ind., and Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced the Global Technology Leadership Act on June 8 to help inform U.S. policy and strengthen American competitiveness.

“We cannot afford to lose our competitive edge in strategic technologies like semiconductors, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence to competitors like China,” Sen. Bennet said in a press release.

“To defend our economic and national security and protect U.S. leadership in critical emerging technologies, we need to be able to take into account both classified and commercial information to fully assess where we stand,” he continued. “With that information, Congress can make smart decisions about where to invest and how to strengthen our competitiveness.”

The lawmakers explained that siloed data has often left the United States blind to its capacity in critical technologies, like in the cases of 5G and semiconductors.

The new office would gather intelligence and commercial data – which are often siloed in intelligence and civilian agencies – and take a data-driven approach to assess U.S. technology competitiveness.

“This legislation will better synchronize our national security community to ensure America wins the technological race against the Chinese Communist Party,” said Sen. Young. “There is no single Federal agency evaluating American leadership in critical technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, despite their significance to our national security and economic prosperity. Our bill will help fill this gap.”

The bill has also gained support from the private sector and academia, including from Ylli Bajraktari, president and CEO of the nonprofit Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP), and the former executive director of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

“The United States has a strong history of organizing to lead through challenging periods. To address post-World War II security concerns, the U.S. government created the National Security Council. To address post-Cold War economic challenges, the U.S. government created the National Economic Council. Today, the United States faces a new era of global technology competition and to remain the world’s leading technological power, we need to organize our government for this new competition,” Bajraktari said.

“The United States must meet this challenge by creating an office to conduct critical technology analysis and provide the president and Congress with recommendations to act,” he added.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.