Senator Hawley Introduces Bill to Defend U.S. Circuit Boards From Chinese Exploitation, Strengthen Supply Chain

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Today Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced the Protecting Critical Boards and Electronics Through Transparency and Enduring Reinvestment (PCBETTER) Act to prevent Beijing from inserting and exploiting vulnerabilities in printed circuit boards (PCBs) that are made in China and used throughout the American military.

“Chinese printed circuit boards pose a serious threat to the integrity of America’s defense systems. It is imperative that we give the Department of Defense the tools it needs to secure its printed circuit board supply chains, so that our warfighters can have full confidence in the weapons they rely on to protect our nation.”

Senator Josh Hawley

A disproportionate amount of the PCBs used in the DoD’s electronic systems come from China, where they are vulnerable to sabotage by the Chinese government. The PCBETTER Act will help to secure the DoD’s PCB supply chains by:

  • Authorizing a ten-year fund to strengthen American PCB and other microelectronics manufacturing and support implementation of critical supply chain security initiatives.
  • Requiring contractors to inform the DoD if certain information systems contain PCBs made in China or other adversary nations, so the Department can focus vulnerability detection and mitigation efforts on those systems.
  • Establishing a testing, remediation, and prevention regime to address vulnerabilities in information systems that contain or may contain PCBs made in China or other adversary nations.