The Center for Strategic and International Studies has issued a report urging the U.S. and allied countries to establish a new multilateral export control regime for critical and emerging technologies. Quantum technologies, semiconductors, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and telecommunications are set to transform national economies and the national security landscape in the 21st century, the report states, and the global nature of their supply chains means that the U.S. needs to consider a broader effort to control the flow of trade of these technologies.

The report notes that the U.S. is already starting to impose unilateral export controls on these technologies but asserts that this approach will have limited utility in the long term and actively harm U.S. competitiveness. For example, foreign firms will eventually fill in the gaps left by U.S. companies no longer selling their inputs, rendering the controls ineffective. This replacement could then lead to the development of supply chains entirely independent of U.S. inputs, further hurting U.S. firms’ ability to sell their goods overseas.

The report therefore urges a multilateral approach to export controls on critical and emerging technologies. The Wassenaar Arrangement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime have demonstrated the success of such an approach with respect to dual-use goods and technologies, the report states, but these institutions “cannot tackle issues posed by the rapid development of critical and emerging technologies” because of problems related to membership, scope, and decision-making procedures.

According to the report, the proposed Regime on Critical and Emerging Technologies should focus on the following three essential issues: governance and rules of usage (i.e., how to coordinate multilateral action on relevant issues), capacity development (enabling participants to coordinate domestic, state-led investments and avoid duplications or inefficiencies in subsidies), and export controls (e.g., a series of mini-sectoral regimes, each dedicated to a specific type of CET and each comprised of countries with significant sectoral involvement).

For more information on export controls and how to ensure your company is in compliance, please contact attorney Kristine Pirnia at (202) 730-4964 or via email.

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