Competition between the United States and China in the realms of electric and autonomous vehicles could determine the future control of global supply chains in an unprecedented way, according to a lawmaker and several experts.
“Our competitors, particularly in China, are not holding back,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) during an April 27 event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a security-focused think tank.
“We cannot fall behind on the global stage.”
Peters said that the future of the automotive industry was in electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs), and that the nation to best develop those industries would win a great advantage in the global marketplace.
To that end, former Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair noted that both EVs and AVs were singled out in Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” industrial plan as part of its top 10 high-tech areas to seize leadership in. This, he said, demonstrated a clear effort to displace the United States as the lead controller of global supply chains and the international industrial ecosystem.
“If the United States loses full spectrum industrial capacity in the automotive industry, and this means designing the cars, testing them, building them, fixing them, the whole ecosystem, then we are hollowing out the industrial sector that we counted on to become the arsenal of democracy in the second world war,” Blair said.