CHICAGO – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) questioned alleged concerns that Chinese manufacturers of passenger railcars and buses are a national security threat, saying that such claims are being promoted by U.S. manufacturers who want to legislate the competition out of business.

Representative Smith was commenting on the fiscal 2020 defense bill which contains a provision banning transit agencies from procuring rolling stock from companies that are owned or subsidized by the Chinese government. The current version of the House bill would ban only rail car purchases; the Senate version of the legislation includes a ban against purchases of Chinese manufactured buses as well.

Representative Smith rejected the argument that Chinese manufacturers would build trains that could be controlled by China.  He also minimized the likelihood and interest of the Chinese government to spy on U.S. citizens riding on passenger railcars joking that if China planted  “listening devices in the trains … they … [would] hear people bitching about their boss on their way home from work.”

“Representative Smith’s comments are a welcome reprieve from the consistent misinformation paid experts and manufacturers spread in their continued efforts to convince lawmakers to legislate perceived competitors out of business,” said Marina Popovic, Human Resources Director & Chief Legal Counsel for CRRC Sifang America.

“To fully understand the facts, benefits and jobs CRRC Sifang America has brought to the U.S. marketplace, please visit CRRC’s factory. CRRC has built a state-of-the-art passenger railcar manufacturing facility on the south side of Chicago.  It employs approximately 100 people, including well paid union workers. CRRC expects to hire approximately 100 more workers in the coming year. At the end of the day, the reality is rather simple.  CRRC is building passenger railcars in America, by Americans, for Americans.”