Florida‘s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–brought back the “American Space Commerce Act” which will encourage American space firms to continue to invest in the U.S., including launching from American soil.
The senators weighed in on the bill on Tuesday. After first bringing it out a year ago, Rubio brought it back at the end of last month.
“America’s commercial space industry is thriving, and its unique partnership with NASA is producing once unthinkable innovation and technological advances,” Rubio said. “Florida is at the center of incredible space innovation, which produces good paying jobs necessary for a strong economy and scientific breakthroughs that improve our daily lives. As nations, such as China and Russia, work to overtake us, we must do everything possible to ensure America’s leadership in space continues for generations to come.”
“I’m proud to reintroduce the American Space Commerce Act to reduce dependence on our adversaries, including Communist China and Russia, and ensure the United States’ space industry has the support needed to remain a leader in space exploration,” Scott said. “We’ve worked hard to bolster this important industry in Florida, and this legislation will continue its growth, support American businesses and innovation and put American interests and national security first.”
Besides Scott, Rubio has also reeled in the support of U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
Back in May 2020, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., introduced the bill with U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., as a cosponsor. Posey reintroduced the bill earlier this year and he and Crist showcased it at the start of March.
Posey’s bill continues space launch tax incentives currently in place for another ten years with the congressman’s office insisting that doing so will free up more capital that can be invested in new technology and in actual launches.
“Our domestic space launch industry is in our national security interest and America is up against unfair trade practices from nations like China and Russia that heavily subsidize space launches,” said Posey. “Our bill provides a powerful incentive for our space firms to keep investing to support America’s growing commercial space sector, further advancing our leadership in space and securing the ultimate military high ground for years to come. I thank my colleague, Congressman Crist, for joining me in introducing this legislation which is critical to both the state of Florida and our nation.”
“The U.S. aerospace industry plays a critical role in advancing our nation’s space exploration goals, national security posture, and global competitiveness,” said Crist. “I’m proud to work with Congressman Posey to introduce this bill to strengthen American leadership in space. The American Space Commerce Act will help shield the U.S. aerospace industry from unfair trade practices, promote our national security, and protect workers in communities across Florida and America.”
The two congressmen pointed to the U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission’s report to Congress back in 2019 which found that “China is taking steps to establish a commanding position in the commercial launch and satellite sectors relying in part on aggressive state-backed financing that foreign market-driven companies cannot match” and “China has already succeeded in undercutting some U.S. and other foreign launch and satellite providers in the international market, threatening to hollow out these countries’ space industrial bases.”
Space Florida is backing the proposal which is before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
“Space Florida applauds the introduction of the American Space Commerce Act by Congressmen Posey and Crist. This bill will ensure that the US remains the world leader in space by supporting the development of domestic launch capabilities. It is the strength, innovation and agility of the commercial space marketplace which best enables American leadership in space,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello.
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