Carlson: RESTRICT Act Would ‘Make America More Like China’

Fox News host Tucker Carlson criticized a proposed bill banning the Chinese-owned app TikTok, saying such a decision would “make America much more like China.”

“One of the bills that would ban TikTok is being pushed by senators in both parties, it’s called the RESTRICT Act. Mark Warner of Virginia and John Thune of South Dakota, Democrat and Republican, introduced this legislation,” Carlson said.

“The bill is ostensibly about protecting American national security and ending ‘foreign adversaries’ from interfering in our elections through apps like TikTok. Because of course, election interference from Twitter and Facebook is no problem at all, but election inference through TikTok is totally unacceptable,” he added.

The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, supported by the Biden administration, would give the U.S. government powers over foreign-linked manufacturers of electronics or software that the Department of Commerce (DOC) labels a national security risk, such as TikTok.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the legislation. NBC News reported it would specifically regulate technology produced in China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela.

TikTok CEO Shou ZI Chew testified at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, refusing to discuss China’s alleged persecution of Uyghur Muslims. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) criticized the company for transferring user data to China and having members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on its payroll.

Carlson pointed out a provision in the bill that allows the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of National Intelligence to label countries as “foreign adversaries,” regulating transactions with them. He said such efforts would make America similar to China.

“This is not an effort to push back against China, it is part of a strategy to make America much more like China, with the government in charge of what you read and see and with terrifying punitive powers at their fingertips,” Carlson said.

Carlson accused the U.S. government of using an opportunity to “expand their police powers” over its citizens.

“TikTok is bad, sure. Al-Qaeda was terrible, of course. But these measures are not aimed at stopping the foreign threat, they are aimed at controlling the American population,” he added.

For the legislation to become law, it must pass both houses of Congress and receive President Joe Biden’s signature.