House GOP Debut Bill to Help US Drone Industry Compete with China

( – House Republicans have introduced legislation to impose tariffs on the import of Chinese drones and prohibit drone imports if they contain Chinese-made components. Introduced by GOP New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the bill proposes a 30% tariff and establishes a grant program to provide financial help to American buyers of US-made machines.

Rep. Stefanik said the bill would improve competitiveness with a revenue-neutral scheme that would increase the purchases of drones produced by the US and its allies. Currently, around 77% of private “hobby” drones and 90% of commercial drones used in America were manufactured in China, Stefanik noted. She is backed by House China Committee chair John Moolennar.

The legislation followed an earlier request from a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the Biden administration to help boost US drone manufacturing. GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin teamed up with Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi and 11 others to push the government to take urgent action. Drone producer DJI hit back, saying restrictions should not be imposed on products based on their country of origin. A company statement insisted that it follows standard processes and “all applicable data privacy protection laws, regulations, and norms in the US.”

The new House proposals come as the Biden administration announces plans to impose hefty levies on imports of other Chinese products, including a 100% tariff on Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Additionally, levies will be attached to minerals and lithium batteries at a rate of 25% and jump from 25% to 50% on solar components and semiconductors. Steel and aluminum tariffs will rise from 7.5% to 25%. The Alliance for American Manufacturing praised the policy, saying Chinese cars in the American market would be an “extinction-level event” for US producers.

President Biden and Donald Trump have both keenly sought the support of the US car manufacturing industry, with Trump warning that Biden’s green agenda would create a China-dominated market in the US and globally.

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