Chairmen Green, Gallagher Slam DHS’s Silence, Demand Answers on Threats Posed by Chinese-Manufactured Cranes at U.S. Ports
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of a Subcommittee hearing on port security vulnerabilities, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) and Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security Chairman Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) joined Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking immediate compliance with an April 3, 2023 inquiry, which sought a briefing and documentation related to the use of Chinese-manufactured cargo cranes and software at U.S. ports. Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC), Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX), and Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Chairman Protection Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) also co-signed the letter.
In the letter, the Members state, “We remain concerned about the security risks associated with the widespread use of Chinese-manufactured cranes that threaten to undermine our national security, particularly those made by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC), a Chinese state-owned business whose governing shareholder is the China Communication Construction Company […] Today, ZPMC controls around 70 percent of the global market share for cranes and accounts for nearly 80 percent of the ship-to-shore cranes at U.S. ports.”
The Members concluded, “Given the security risks associated with the extensive use of Chinese-manufactured cranes that threaten to undermine our national security and to assist the Committees with their oversight of operational technology in U.S. port infrastructure, please provide a full production in response to the April 3, 2023 Committee on Homeland Security letter, and the following documents and information as soon as possible.”
Outlets such as the Wall Street Journal have reported on the national security risks of Chinese state-owned cranes, revealing that Pentagon officials have called ZPMC a ‘Trojan horse’ for the CCP, and that the FBI has reportedly discovered intelligence collection devices on ZPMC cranes in the Port of Baltimore.
Lawmakers demanded that DHS provide a staff-level briefing to the committees no later than May 31, 2023. The letter also makes nine detailed requests for Secretary Mayorkas to fill by May 24, including the submission of:
- All documents and communications and briefing materials about ZPMC and/or any other Chinese-based crane manufacturer;
- A description of the steps DHS has taken to identify, assess, and mitigate the risks associated with Chinese software and operational technology in U.S. ports;
- A description of any existing DHS collaborations or partnerships with the private sector, state and local governments, and international partners to address the issue of Chinese software and operational technology in U.S. ports.
Read the full letter here.