China's Spy Trains
|Source: CRRC Subway Cars for Boston's MBTA|
China's Highly Advanced Surveillance Technology
China's state owned subway car maker CRRC has a new $100 million plant in Chicago and a deal to provide Chicago with 846 cars. It has similar deals with Boston's MBTA and with Los Angeles' Metro system. CRRC, which is the world's largest train manufacturer, hopes to win contracts from big cities across the US. But, business for the company in the US may be coming to a screeching halt.
National Security and Economic Concerns
The US Congress is expected to ban the company from bidding on any more contracts. The reason is China's highly advanced surveillance technology and the concern that the spy tech could be embedded in the subway cars to spy on Americans. Some are calling the Chinese subway cars "Spy Trains". The proposal has bipartisan support and is attached to a military spending bill that would block the use of federal grans to buy subway trains from foreign state-owned or foreign state- controlled companies. The White House supports the measure, citing national security and economic concerns.
US-China Trade War
Spy Trains is another vestige of the US-China trade war. The US has imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods. It has banned the Chinese telecom giant Huawei from buying sensitive US technology. And the US wants to stop the exporting of technologies like AI and quantum computing to China. It's a multifaceted battle.