Support American Agriculture - Oppose HR 2864

HR 2864 (i.e. the Countering CCP Drones Act) is a bill that could potentially revoke the FCC licensing for DJI and other Chinese-manufactured drones, essentially ensuring that no new DJI products could be approved in the U.S. going forward, and potentially grounding DJI drones currently approved for use in the U.S.   

DJI drones provide opportunities for so many people in every sector, including agriculture. 

In Missouri, where we are headquartered, there was a bill proposed a few months ago to ban the use of Chinese-made drones for fire departments, police departments, and public safety. The only supporters of this bill were the lobbyists who wrote this bill compared to the droves of public safety officials who showed up to oppose it. 

Agriculture is no different.

It's election season, and encouraging the opposition of Chinese-manufactured products is a great way for politicians to secure votes. After all, there are more people who don't use spray drone technology than people who do use this technology. Banning spray drones greatly impacts a small segment of our population though. 

We care deeply about empowering rural America and the lives that are impacted by spray drones and spray drone technology. Each and everyday, we see firsthand just how impactful this technology is throughout the agricultural industry. Whether providing growers with a solution to the aerial application supply/demand issue, or whenever we see a small business created that leverages drone technology to supply these services, agricultural spray drones are directly impact and bringing revenue to rural American communities. 

If passed, HR 2864 will ensure that no new DJI products are approved for use in the U.S., and could revoke the licensing on existing DJI drones in the U.S. This bill does not provide funding for or an alternative option to replace Chinese-manufactured drones. 

Some lawmakers point to a telecommunication safety act in 2019 that banned Chinese telecommunication in the US. That act provided funding for companies to remove old equipment and install new equipment. HR 2864 does nothing of the sort - there is absolutely no funding associated with this bill. It merely ensures that owners of chinese-manufactured drones are unable to use their investment to provide needed services throughout the agricultural industry and beyond. It does not offer a solution nor any other option to these small business owners in rural America, on alternatives to pursue.

I believe agriculture is an act of national security. I believe young people having opportunities is an act of national security. If passed, American farmers will be excluded from access to industry-leading technology, and forced to compete with countries with ample access to this technology. This places undue strain on our farmers, and invokes unnecessary challenges when it comes to creating a reliable food supply for our country, and that is a problem for national security.

I want to see American-made drones readily available and on the market, however these alternatives do not exist today. Instead, we see American assembled drones that use 95+ percent Chinese made parts. If forced to embrace these alternatives, we are not solving any problem. We need to invest in American manufacturing in order to ensure healthy competition, and a free market. 

Urge your lawmakers to oppose this bill and create an agricultural carveout. We need to invest in American manufacturing and propose legislation that would reinvest in the engineering and manufacturing of an American-made alternative. 

Write your lawmakers!

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