Schumer raises national security concerns over possible MTA deal

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.
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U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Schumer raises national security concerns over possible MTA deal

The U.S. Senate Minority Leader called for a probe of the Chinese state-owned company CRRC.
May 21, 2019

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called this weekend for the Commerce Department to conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of a Chinese rail technology company aiming to develop new subway cars for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, suggesting that contracting with CRRC, a Chinese state-owned company, might pose a cyber warfare threat to New York’s mass transit system.

In doing so, Schumer echoes some of the same concerns that President Trump did when he issued an executive order designed to keep U.S. telecommunications companies from using equipment from foreign suppliers deemed a national security threat. Apprehension over the United States’ growing reliance on Chinese-built technologies has largely been a bipartisan issue, demonstrated not only by Schumer’s call for a probe of CRRC, but by support for President Trump’s executive order on Capitol Hill, which U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, endorsed.

Still, Schumer’s call may be premature. While CRRC has contracted with cities including Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the MTA has yet to award a contract to the company.

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Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
20201022