This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., came out swinging at TikTok Shop, urging the White House to prohibit it from operating in the U.S.

Rubio called on President Joe Biden to stop TikTok Shop “from fully operating in the U.S. Executive Order 13873, issued in May 2019 by the Trump administration, empowers the U.S. Department of Commerce to restrict certain information and communications technology and services ‘transactions’ that pose an undue or unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the safety of U.S. persons when those transactions involve ‘foreign adversaries.'”

TikTok Shop started a pilot program in the fall of 2021.

Rubio pointed to TikTok’s ties to the Chinese regime as why Biden should invoke the executive order he recommended.

“President Biden should make clear that TikTok Shop will not be allowed to operate in the United States,” Rubio said. “Just like TikTok itself, TikTok Shop is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party. It would represent a serious threat to Americans’ personal privacy and U.S. national security. The Biden administration has the power to prevent TikTok Shop from operating in America, and now it needs to use it. And if, for some reason, bureaucratic lawyers get in the way, President Biden should ask Congress for the necessary authorities. We cannot keep letting Chinese Communist Party-directed companies invade and weaken our country.”

At the start of last year, brought back his proposal for tougher standards and more restrictions on some foreign software and apps, including WeChat and TikTok thanks to their connections to the Chinese regime.

At the end of October 2020, Rubio brought out the “Adversarial Platform Prevention (APP) Act” which “would establish a set of data protection and censorship related standards and restrictions that must be met by high-risk foreign software…in order to legally operate in the United States.” Rubio’s bill would have warning labels on those programs and apps and ensure there are annual public disclosures from the companies running them.

Last year, Rubio sent letters to the CIA, the Army and the U.S. Department of Commerce, warning them about TikTok’s ties to China.

Kevin Derby
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