US tightens restrictions on technology exports

US tightens restrictions on technology exports to China, Russia and Venezuela

Reuters/File photo

The Trump Administration announced new export control actions to prevent efforts by entities in China, Russia, and Venezuela to acquire American technology that could be used for development of weapons, military aircraft, surveillance through civilian supply chains.

"It is important to consider the ramifications of doing business with countries that have histories of diverting goods purchased from US companies for military applications," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

"Certain entities in China, Russia, and Venezuela have sought to circumvent America's export controls, and undermine American interests in general, and so we will remain vigilant to ensure US technology does not get into the wrong hands," Ross said.

Prominent among the rule changes include expansion of Military End Use/User Controls (MEU), removal of license exception civil end users (CIV) and elimination of license exception additional permissive reexports (APR) provisions.

The new rule, expands MEU license requirements controls on China, Russia, and Venezuela to cover military end-users in all three countries, as well as items such as semiconductor equipment, sensors, and other technologies sought for military end use or by military end-users in these countries.

It seeks to removes a license exception for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to civilian end-users in countries of national security concern for National Security- (NS) controlled items.

The new rule also proposes to eliminate certain provisions of a license exception for partner countries involving the reexport of NS-controlled items to countries of national security concern to ensure consistent reviews of exports and reexports of US items.

US Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and an outspoken China hawk, in a statement said that this was long due.

“This rule is grounded in two basic truths: Modern war is high tech and China’s so-called ‘private sector’ is fake. Chairman Xi has erased any daylight between China’s businesses and the communist party’s military,” Sasse said.

“We didn’t win the Cold War by selling cruise missiles to the Soviets, and we’re not going to beat China by selling semiconductors to the People’s Liberation Army. These rules are long overdue,” he said.