July 11, 2024

Ricketts, Rubio Introduce Bill to End China’s Access to American Taxpayer-Funded Research

July 11, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senators Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and three colleagues introduced the Furthering Operations for Resiliency, Transparency, and Integrity to Fortify (FORTIFY) U.S. Research Act. The bill would increase transparency in taxpayer-funded research and close loopholes that allow China’s military to benefit from American taxpayer dollars. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Ted Budd (R-NC) are also original cosponsors. U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) will introduce companion legislation in the House.

“Our nation must prioritize its own security and ensure that taxpayer dollars are not funding our adversaries,” said Ricketts.“This legislation marks a crucial step towards guaranteeingAmerican research advancements serve American interestsonly. I am proud to join Senator Rubio in this effort to prevent the exploitation of our innovations by China.”

“America’s innovations and research must remain secure and serve our national interest,” said Rubio. “I’m proud to introduce the FORTIFY U.S. Research Act to safeguard taxpayer-funded research and close loopholes that China and other adversaries are quick to exploit.”

Text of the legislation can be found here.


Last year, a Newsweek investigative report uncovered that China’s leading artificial intelligence scientist received at least $30 million in U.S. federal research grants. Additionally, a new unclassified analysis provided to Senator Rubio’s office by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) revealed U.S. taxpayers have been unwittingly funding thousands of Chinese experiments with direct applications to the Chinese military. Their findings note more than 5,000 instances of research collaboration between the DoD’s funding agencies and Chinese entities between 2019 and 2024. The FORTIFY Act would close the loopholes that adversaries like China have exploited.