Monday, May 27, 2024

Several Republican lawmakers are criticizing the Biden administration for its enforcement of restrictions on China’s access to American technology. They claim that the administration is still allowing semiconductors and other American innovation to flow to Beijing, which could potentially aid China in a military conflict.

In a report released on Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the administration had failed to enforce export controls that limit sales of advanced technology to China. The federal government has incrementally increased limits on sales to China of advanced chips and chip-making equipment in recent years. The United States has also imposed restrictions on Chinese companies or organizations accused of aiding the Chinese military or Russia’s war effort, or participating in human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

However, Republican lawmakers claim that the administration has not done enough to enforce these rules and criticized the office in charge of policing export controls. The report faulted the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security for being too close to the technology industries it regulates. Many tech companies sell products and services to China and have pushed for more lenient rules in order to retain access to a large and growing market.

In particular, the report said the administration had granted too many special licenses allowing American companies to export restricted products to China, in some cases issuing those exemptions over the objections of defense and intelligence officials.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Bureau of Industry and Security said that the Biden administration had been thoughtful and vigorous in expanding the restrictions. They added more than 1,100 parties to a restricted trade list, including more than 300 firms and organizations in China.

The spokesman said that the department was constantly assessing and updating its export controls, and looked forward to reviewing the report and working with members of Congress to achieve national security objectives.

Semiconductor companies have pushed back against the restrictions, saying that overly broad controls could push China to develop its own technologies and ultimately undercut American industry leadership.

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