New York Senator Calls for Federal Investigation of Chinese Train Car Company

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is not taking national security risks lightly.

Less than one week after Huawei was blacklisted, Schumer called for an investigation of CRRC—another Chinese company. CRRC is state-owned and has proposed to invest $50 million dollars to New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, last year.

CRRC told MTA that it would help develop a new train car equipped with “modern train control technology,” according to the MTA. Schumer said the technology is susceptible to cyber-attacks.

Transportation systems have had their share of cyber-attacks.

The Pew Research Center reported that a light rail system in San Francisco was hit in 2016 with a ransomware attack, requesting $73,000 from the company.

And in 2017, the Sacramento Regional Transit was cyber-attacked, with the culprit demanding one bitcoin, according to the Pew Research Center. At that time, one bitcoin was worth about $8,000.

Schumer said that security officials and experts believe China may be the source of the two incidents, according to his press release.

No Deal With MTA

The MTA confirmed with NTD News via email that they do not use CRRC cars in their system, nor have they purchased any. They are also willing to work with the government to increase their systems security.

However CRRC has won contracts in other cities, such as Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago.

Other than national security risks, politicians like Representative Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) believe these Chinese state-owned companies seek to attack the American economy, according to Rouda’s press release.

Rouda introduced the Transportation Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act on May 15 to counter China’s industrial blueprint: “Made in China 2025.”

“China’s ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative is an unmistakable effort to harm American manufacturers by subsidizing Chinese rail and bus industries,” reads the press release. “Chinese companies misrepresent themselves as benevolent actors, but let’s be clear: this is an attack on our economy and national security.”

China’s blueprint outlines its plan to dominate the global supply chain by 2025.

The bipartisan bill would prohibit transit agencies from buying Chinese rail assets using federal funds, states the press release.

On May 16, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, Scott Paul, testified in a House Committee Hearing about state-owned enterprises like CRRC, and their impact on public transportation and freight rail sectors.

“China’s state-owned enterprises and Beijing’s economic policies that support these firms, are a real threat to American jobs and security. … China’s model of state-led capitalism has contributed to the loss of 3.4 million U.S. jobs,” said Paul.