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TOMORROW AT 10AM: Chairman Gimenez to Examine CCP Threats to Port Security with Testimony from USCG, Navy, DHS

February 28, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Tomorrow, February 29, at 10:00 AM ET, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, led by Chairman Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), will hold a hearing to examine port security vulnerabilities, as well as potential solutions and actions Congress can take to improve maritime and economic security amid increased threats from China. This hearing comes amid an investigation by the Committee into the risks posed by the Chinese state-owned enterprise, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC), which accounts for nearly 80 percent of the ship-to-shore cranes in use at U.S. maritime ports.

“The administration’s executive order last week underscored the very real threats to our ports from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but it does not end this threat altogether,” Chairman Gimenez said. “In the wake of intrusions revealed by the intelligence community relating to the Communist Chinese cyber actor Volt Typhoon and specific vulnerabilities identified by the Committee in our year-long investigation, we will continue our rigorous investigation into Communist China’s dominance in port crane production and assembly through ZPMC, and its relationship with international suppliers that provide essential parts of the cranes’ operational technology. By allowing the CCP access to our maritime infrastructure through these cranes, we are potentially providing our nation’s primary strategic adversary the opportunity to throttle our port activity, conduct espionage, and steal intellectual property. This week, the Committee will hear from Coast Guard, Navy, and DHS leadership on the impacts of this threat on our homeland security, ways to combat the threat long-term, and how to strengthen the resilience of our critical infrastructure.”


What: Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security hearing titled, “Port Cybersecurity: The Insidious Threat to U.S. Maritime Ports.” 

When: Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 10:00 AM ET

Where: 310 Cannon House Office Building 


Rear Admiral Wayne R. Arguin Jr.
Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, United States Coast Guard

Rear Admiral John Vann
Coast Guard Cyber Command, United States Coast Guard

Rear Admiral Derek Trinque
Director of Strategic Plans, Policy, and Logistics (J5/J4), United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM)

Christa Brzozowski
Assistant Secretary for Trade and Economic Security, Department of Homeland Security 

Witness testimony will be added here. The hearing will be livestreamed on YouTube and the Committee’s website. The hearing will be open to the public and press. 


Last week, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) and Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX) joined Chairmen Gimenez and Gallagher in issuing a joint statement concerning the Biden administration’s announcement of new investments in the domestic manufacturing of port cranes and other maritime security efforts in order to combat threats from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This announcement follows a lengthy joint investigation by the Committees and numerous calls to action to counter the cybersecurity risks, foreign intelligence threats, and supply chain vulnerabilities plaguing the U.S. maritime sector. 

Read what the media is saying below:

Inside Cybersecurity via Sara Friedman: “Republican leaders from two key House committees say the actions announced this week by the Biden administration to secure U.S. ports are a ‘meaningful step,’ while calling for additional oversight to address cyber maritime threats from the Chinese Communist Party. “‘In light of our Committees’ warnings about the grave threats posed to our maritime security, this is the right move by the administration. It is deeply troubling that the vast majority of ship-to-shore cranes at U.S. ports are manufactured by the Chinese state-owned company, ZPMC, and the operational technology, sourced from various global suppliers, is often installed in China,’ the lawmakers said today in a joint statement. “They added, ‘Many of the cranes’ operational components are manufactured by the Swiss firm ABB, which partners closely with both ZPMC and the U.S. government.’” “The statement comes from House Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), China select committee Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) and August Pfluger (R-TX).”

The Wall Street Journal via Dustin Volz, Gordon Lubold, and Doug Cameron: “Some members of Congress who track the issue closely said they welcomed the administration’s efforts…‘Communist China is no friend to the United States and consistently works to undermine American interests and our security,’ said Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R., Fla.), who has introduced legislation intended to address the security risks posed by the cranes. ‘Our ports are critical hubs of economic activity; a cyberattack by Communist China could cause a cascading impact to domestic and global supply chains,’ he said in a statement. “Gimenez said he hoped the administration’s moves would jump-start his own legislative initiatives as chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security. The panel said Wednesday that it would hold a hearing next week on port cybersecurity with testimony from U.S. officials.”

CNBC via Lori Ann LaRocco: “One area of focus in the new port security actions is equipment that moves cargo containers off of vessels, known as remote ship-to-shore cranes. Senior administration officials cited data that estimates 80 percent of the cranes moving trade at U.S. ports are made in China and use Chinese software, leading to concern that the cranes could be used in Chinese surveillance. There are over 200 of these cranes, which include sophisticated sensors that could track container information. The Coast Guard has evaluated 92 of more than 200 cranes. “The House of Representatives has introduced port crane security legislation in the past, with the most recent the Port Crane Security and Inspection Act of 2023, proposed in May 2023. It would limit the use of foreign cranes and require CISA to inspect foreign cranes for potential security vulnerabilities. House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R.-Tenn.)…said in a statement last year that it was ‘extremely worrisome’ that approximately 80% of American port cranes use Chinese software manufactured by a Chinese company.”

Radio Free Asia via Alex Willemyns: “Last month, a group of prominent Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives said they wanted to probe an ‘alarming security vulnerability’ on some ZPMC cranes sold to American port operators, which they said had created potential ‘cybersecurity risks, foreign intelligence threats, and supply chain vulnerabilities.’ “The Jan. 16 letter was signed by Homeland Security chairman Mark Green of Tennessee, Select Committee on China chairman Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Transportation and Maritime Security chairman Carlos Giménez of Florida and Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement and Intelligence chairman August Pfluger of Texas.”

Homeland Preparedness News via Chris Galford: “In a joint statement, House chairmen and U.S. Reps. Mark Green, MD (R-TN), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), August Pfluger (R-TX), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) praised the recent White House decision to invest in the domestic manufacturing of port cranes and maritime security. “Although more often locking horns with the Biden administration, the Republicans labeled the efforts the right move to combat China. Along the way, they called out the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese state-owned company ZPMC in particular, for its manufacturing of the majority of ship-to-shore cranes at U.S. ports. They also noted that the cranes’ operational components are typically manufactured by the Swiss firm ABB, a close partner of ZPMC and the U.S. government.”