Background

The U.S. anticipates imposing additional controls on exports to China and is working to convince other countries to follow its lead, a senior U.S. official said recently.

In October the Bureau of Industry and Security imposed new export controls designed to restrict China’s ability to obtain advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and manufactured advanced semiconductors. These controls are consistent with the Biden administration’s recently-issued national security strategy, which views China as an adversary “with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it.”

According to press reports, BIS chief Alan Estevez said last week that the U.S. is working to persuade allied countries to take similar measures. This effort is “a work in progress,” involving senior officials including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Estevez said the U.S. expects to reach a multilateral agreement “in the near term.”

Estevez added that export controls could be coming on other technologies as well. Quantum computing, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence are “on my radar,” he said, and “if I was a betting person, I would put down money” on the U.S. “doing something in those areas.”

Further, Estevez indicated that potential trade effects will not be considered as part of that process. “We do not balance trade with national security,” an Inside US Trade article quoted him as saying. “When I see an action that needs to be taken for national security, I have top-down coverage to go take care of that regardless of the impact.”

For more information on the new and potential export restrictions on China, please contact attorney Kristine Pirnia at (202) 730-4964 or via email.

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