A new bill introduced by Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., would task the Department of Commerce with conducting a quantum computing study to outline economic benefits of the technology, and identify and mitigate supply chain risks.

The Advancing Quantum Computing Act (H.R. 6919) – introduced on May 19 – has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce, Science Space and Technology, and Foreign Affairs committees.

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“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,” Rep. Griffith said in a statement. He also said the coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the need to improve supply chain security and promote domestic manufacturing and technology.

The quantum computing study proposed by the legislation would be undertaken through four surveys that would help determine “the impact of quantum computing on United States businesses conducting interstate commerce.” The surveys would include:

  1. A survey of quantum computing through outreach to participating entities to: establish which industry sectors develop and use quantum; establish which public-private partnerships promote quantum; establish how industry sectors promote quantum; and provide pros and cons of the technology for U.S. businesses;
  2. A survey on Federal activity that would: identify agencies with jurisdiction over industry sectors developing quantum; identify interagency quantum-related activities; develop a description of jurisdiction of Federal agencies related to quantum; and identify rules, regulations, guidelines, and policy points implemented by each Federal agency;
  3. An international survey of 10 to 15 countries comparing their national strategies on quantum to those of the U.S.; and
  4. A survey on the marketplace and supply chain of quantum to assess security risks; a review of foreign governments’ ability to exploit supply chain vulnerabilities; and identification of emerging risks in the marketplace and supply chain.

“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,” Rep. Griffith said. “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.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.