Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Bobby Rush, D-Ill., introduced a bill to mandate studies by the Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and quantum computing.

The American Competitiveness on More Productive Emerging Tech Economy (COMPETE) Act, H.R. 8132, mandates a number of studies to be conducted by either the Secretary of Commerce, the FTC, or both. Study topics would include artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) in manufacturing, quantum computing, blockchain technology, new and advanced materials, unmanned delivery services, 3D printing, and combatting online harms through innovation.

Legislation measures for those kinds of studies have previously been introduced as separate bills, but H.R. 8132 combines the smaller pieces of legislation into a larger package.

“As these technologies develop and become more prolific, it is imperative that the U.S. take the lead in appreciating both the benefits and risks associated with these technologies, and ensure that we remain competitive on the world stage,” said Rep. Rush, an Energy and Commerce Committee member, in a statement.

Most of the studies are required within one year of the bill’s enactment. In addition to Reps. Rush and McMorris Rodgers, the bill has 11 additional cosponsors. The bill does not appear to have a Senate companion.

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Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.