Trump administration preparing to limit sensitive tech exports to China, other nations: report

Trump administration preparing to limit sensitive tech exports to China, other nations: report

The Trump administration is preparing a set of rules that will limit sensitive technology exports to China and other U.S. rivals, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The Commerce Department is finalizing five rules restricting the exporting of products like quantum computing and 3D printing to prevent adversary governments from accessing the technology, according to documents obtained by Reuters. The rules follow a 2018 mandate designed to prevent these countries from obtaining the technology. 

The department has developed these rules after seeking comment last year from U.S. businesses, who feared the guidelines would be broad and overreaching. The rules will be proposed to international bodies before implementation. 


Two of these regulations would narrow the exporting of quantum diluted refrigerators for qubits necessary for complex computer calculations and 3D printing of explosives. These were sent to the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning on Nov. 19, the documents say according to Reuters.

Another rule limiting the sale of technology for making semiconductors is awaiting comment as of Dec. 5. The last two intend to reduce the exports of chemicals utilized for a Russian nerve agent and single-use chambers for chemical reactions. 

There will be a comment period for these rules, and a sixth rule regulating artificial intelligence will go into place without a comment period, according to the news wire. These rules would likely not be put in place until mid-2021 at the earliest due to the cooperation with international boards.

The department declined to comment to Reuters besides saying it is reviewing a number of proposed rules.

“Based on their titles, the rules appear to be narrowly tailored to address specific national security issues, which should go a long way to calming the nerves of those in industry concerned that the administration would impose controls over broad categories of widely available technologies,” Kevin Wolf, former assistant secretary of commerce for export administration, told Reuters.

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonHillicon Valley: Election security funding gets mixed response | Facebook tests community fact checking | Lawmakers look to block Chinese pick for IP organization | Secret court judge rebukes FBI over surveillance warrants Bipartisan lawmakers urge Trump to oppose Chinese nominee to lead intellectual property body Trump administration preparing to limit sensitive tech exports to China, other nations: report MORE (R-Ark.) condemned the department for its lack of speed in the process, saying he was “disappointed at the lack of political will” there. 

“While bureaucrats and industry shills twiddle their thumbs, the Chinese Communist Party continues to purchase sensitive U.S. technologies with clear military applications,” he said in a statement to Reuters. “I will be digging deep into the Commerce Department’s actions.”

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