Agri Spray Drones' Statement on HR 2864 (Countering CCP Drones Act)

The Countering CCP Drones Act (HR 2864) could revoke FCC licensing for DJI and other Chinese-manufactured drones, preventing new DJI products from being approved in the U.S. and potentially grounding currently approved DJI drones.

There is high demand for aerial application, and that demand will only increase. We still firmly believe it’s a great time to get into the industry. There may be some changes to FCC policy with regard to DJI drones, but we believe that this will not have long-term impacts for the industry.



Impact on Agriculture

  • Critical Tool for Agriculture: DJI drones are vital for the agricultural sector, providing efficient and precise aerial application of crop protection products.
  • Economic Contributions: Agricultural spray drones significantly contribute to rural economies, offering solutions to aerial application supply issues and enabling small businesses to thrive.


Missouri Case Study

  • Local Opposition to Similar Legislation: In Missouri, a bill to ban Chinese-made drones for public safety faced overwhelming opposition from safety officials despite support from lobbyists. This highlights the practical necessity of these drones.
  • Parallel in Agriculture: Just like in public safety, banning these drones will severely impact agricultural operations and small businesses reliant on drone technology.


Election Season Dynamics

  • Political Context: Supporting bans on Chinese products can be a political strategy during election seasons, but it disproportionately affects small segments like agricultural drone users.
  • Rural Impact: The ban will particularly harm rural America, where spray drones are essential for maintaining agricultural productivity and economic stability.


National Security and Technological Competitiveness

  • National Security Argument: Agriculture is crucial for national security. Limiting farmers' access to leading technology hampers their ability to compete globally and maintain a stable food supply.
  • Need for American Innovation: While supporting American-made drones is ideal, current alternatives are largely composed of Chinese parts. Real solutions involve investing in true American manufacturing and innovation.

Financial and Operational Burdens

  • Lack of Replacement Funding: Unlike previous acts that provided funds to replace banned equipment, HR 2864 does not offer financial support for replacing Chinese-manufactured drones.
  • Economic Loss: The lack of funding and alternatives will leave drone owners unable to use their investments, leading to financial losses and operational disruptions in agriculture.


Data Security Concerns

  • Existing Safeguards: DJI drones have robust data security measures, including local data modes and U.S.-based data storage.
  • Third-Party Validations: Multiple independent studies and government agencies have confirmed the security of DJI drones, mitigating concerns over data privacy.


Call to Action

  • Oppose HR 2864: Urge lawmakers to oppose this bill. Instead, they should focus on legislation that invests in American drone manufacturing and provides practical solutions for current users. Encourage folks to get as detailed as possible when sharing their stories, this really does make a difference.
  • Agricultural Carveout: Advocate for an agricultural carveout in the bill to protect the interests of American farmers and rural communities.
  • Promote Sustainable Alternatives: Encourage investment in sustainable and competitive American alternatives to ensure a healthy, free market.


Engaging with Lawmakers and Public

  • Voicing Concerns: Farmers and business owners should communicate how HR 2864 would negatively affect their operations and economic stability.
  • Using Advocacy Tools: Utilize pre-filled letters, phone calls, and social media to amplify opposition to HR 2864 and promote a more balanced legislative approach.
  • Ask for a meeting: If you’re a small business owner impacted by this ban, reach out to your local representative and ask for a meeting. Even if you don’t talk to the rep themselves, talk with staff members and share how this ban could impact American farmers. 


As an industry, why are we just now starting to be vocal about this?

  • We appealed to logic and truly never thought things would get to this point, given the huge impact of this piece of legislation (it pulls FCC approval for ALL new DJI products, not just drones).
  • DJI delayed opposition engagement efforts until late in the game, likely due to reason #1. 


Should I still consider buying a drone? 

  • That decision is truly up to you. There is high demand for aerial application and that demand will only increase. It’s a great time to get into the industry. There may be some changes to FCC policy with regard to DJI drones, but we believe that this will not have long term implications for folks being able to operate their drones. 

What's the latest on H.R. 2864?

  • As of Wednesday, 6/12, inclusion of H.R. 2864-specific language is currently being reviewed by the Senate Armed Services Committee. If passed by Committee, H.R. 2864 language could be added to the Senate version of the NDAA for FY 2025. Similar language already exists in a House Committee approved markup of the NDAA for FY 2025. If approved by Congress, NDAA for FY 2025 and all subsequent amendments could be signed into law as early as September 2024 (and as late as December 2024).