Industry News

U.S. Government Continues to Talk about "Countering China"

Jun. 1, 2023
By: Marvin E. McPherson

All branches of the United States government seem to be focused on the dynamic of export controls and foreign relations with China. The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on May 31, 2023, that focused on “Countering China: Advancing U.S. National Security, Economic Security, and Foreign Policy.”

During the hearing, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce Matthew S. Axelrod (Export Enforcement) and Thea D. Rozman Kendler (Export Administration) testified.

Assistant Secretary Axelrod’s testimony focused on Commerce’s efforts to enforce U.S. export controls and prevent unauthorized access to U.S. technologies by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Axelrod emphasized the increasing importance of export controls and highlighted the evolving threat posed by China to U.S. national security.

The Assistant Secretary Axelrod outlined three key areas of focus in the Commerce Department’s efforts:

1.     Enforcement policy enhancements

2.     Technology protection partnerships

3.     Enforcement actions.

Furthermore, Assistant Secretary Axelrod discussed the establishment of the Disruptive Technology Strike Force (DTSF), as discussed in “Disruptive Technology Strike Force – On the Hunt” in which the Assistant Secretary views as pivotal in protecting advanced technologies from illicit acquisition by nation-state actors.

Assistant Secretary Axelrod summarized his testimony emphasizing the critical role of export enforcement and the unprecedented challenges posed by China’s activities in the technology sector.

In her statement, Assistant Secretary Thea D. Rozman Kendler, addressed the ongoing effort of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to administer U.S. export controls and counter China’s military modernization and human rights abuses. She emphasized the importance of protecting U.S. national security and promoting American technological leadership.

Assistant Secretary Kendler discussed the challenges posed by China’s military ambitions and their use of a military-civil fusion strategy to acquire advanced technologies. In an effort to combat China’s acquisition of sensitive technology, Assistant Secretary Kendler emphasized that BIS will work closely with interagency partners to restrict China's access to dual-use items and technologies, with a specific focus on artificial intelligence, advanced semiconductors, and supercomputing.

The hearing and the testimony therefrom, show a continued concern and focus on U.S. technology relations with China. U.S companies dealing in China or with U.S. technologies should ensure that they are maintaining optimal compliance and are diligent in reviewing updates from Commerce.

If your company needs assistance navigating the increasingly complex export regulations, do not hesitate to contact any attorney at Barnes Richardson and Colburn.