Protecting the Global Tech Supply Chain

Maryam Cope photo

UPDATE:  Listen to Dean's opening statement at the hearing (MP3).

On Tuesday afternoon, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will dive into an examination of the communications supply chain.  ITI CEO Dean Garfield will testify about our sector’s 24/7/365 approach to managing and mitigating security risks to the reliability of our products and services, and the integrity of our supply chains.

The subcommittee’s hearing is well-timed, and we can expect good questions.  In fact, there is an ongoing debate in capitals around the world regarding supply-chain security and cyber trust.  And our sector’s approach to each of them is premised with a simple fact:  We are committed to manufacturing products on which customers around the world can rely.  After all, our companies’ success and very existence depend on the security and reliability of their products.  No purchaser – be it a consumer or a major government procurement office – wants products with potentially compromised security features.  Companies that produce unsecure materials will find themselves out of customers and out of business.  So supply-chain security is built into our business models.

Effective security is a function of how a product is made, used, and maintained, not by where it is made.  We believe consensus-driven, voluntary, global standards that focus on risk management form the foundation for best practices, controls, and standards that truly enhance supply-chain security. 

We hope that Congress (as well as governments around the world) moves cautiously and carefully on this complex issue.  Consider that the smartphones in our pockets are constructed with hundreds of components that come from all across the globe.  To make those phones and other products, our sector’s supply chains are global and globally integrated.  Any government-mandated change would have significant cascading effects.  So it is critical that the approach to supply-chain protections be risk-based and carefully considered.

The House subcommittee hearing will provide a good venue to focus on these issues, and how the U.S. government can be a valuable partner in supply-chain integrity while preserving interoperability, openness, and a global market.

You can learn more about the hearing on the subcommittee’s website, and read Dean’s testimony ahead of the Tuesday session.

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