House Bill Seeks Study on Quantum Computing, Identifying Benefits, Supply Chain Risks

By Tiffany Trader

May 27, 2020

New legislation under consideration (H.R.6919, Advancing Quantum Computing Act) requests that the Secretary of Commerce conduct a comprehensive study on quantum computing to assess the benefits of the technology for American competitiveness as well as identify supply chain risks.

Introduced by Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) on May 19, the bill emphasizes American leadership and the integrity of American supply chains in the face of competition from other nations, such as China.

In a statement Congressman Griffith’s office cited the coronavirus pandemic as underscoring the need to secure domestic supply chains.

“We can’t depend on other countries, particularly competitors such as China, to guarantee American economic leadership, shield our stockpile of critical supplies, or secure the benefits of technological progress to our people. It is up to us to do that,” said Congressman Griffith.

The bill calls for four surveys to be conducted: a survey of quantum computing industry, delineating the potential for United States businesses; a survey of federal activities related to quantum computing; an international survey of 10-15 countries to determine where the United States ranks with respect to development and adoption; and a survey of the marketplace and supply chain that identifies vulnerabilities and assesses their severity levels.

“Fortunately, America has always been a nation of builders and inventors. The bills introduced today with my backing will draw on that characteristic of ours,” said Congressman Griffith, who is also a consponsor of the Manufacturing API, Drugs, and Excipients (MADE) in America Act of 2020. “They will encourage the return of manufacturing to the United States, protect critical medical supplies, and pursue advances in technology, all while creating jobs and growing the economy in the United States.”

Quantum computing investment is a focal point of the current U.S. administration. In late 2018, President Donald Trump signed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) into law, authorizing $1.25 billion for R&D over the first five years. Trump’s 2021 (requested) budget calls for a doubling of spending on quantum information sciences.

Bill H.R.6919 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and to the Science, Space, and Technology, and Foreign Affairs committees.

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