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Florida cracking down on Communist Party of China influence, governor says

'We gotta start fighting back,' Gov. Ron DeSantis says
Posted at 10:07 AM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 11:34:16-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida wants to crack down on what Gov. Ron DeSantis calls "nefarious foreign influence and corporate espionage."

Speaking at the Florida National Guard Robert A. Ballard Armory in Miami on Monday, the governor signed two bills into law that aim to combat harmful interference from China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

"All we are doing today is saying, enough is enough. We gotta start fighting back," DeSantis said.

Under the first bill, foreign adversaries from those seven countries will not have access to U.S. schools, government, and companies like they have in the past, DeSantis said.

The bill safeguards public institutions from undue foreign influence, prohibiting agreements between public entities and those countries.

"Beyond prohibiting direct deals with these adversarial governments, the bill also makes sure we don't make deals with private companies that are closely tied to these foreign adversaries," DeSantis said.

A second bill creates new criminal offenses in Florida for the theft and trafficking of trade secrets.

"There is no single entity that exercises more pervasive, nefarious influence across a wide range of American industries and institutions than the Community Party of China," DeSantis said.