On Tuesday, a group of 10 U.S. Republican senators urged Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to instruct her department to expedite work to identify new American technologies that the Chinese government might abuse if they export to the country.

The letter, led by Senator Tom Cotton and seen by Reuters, urged the department to identify “emerging and basic technologies” as required by the 2018 law.

“We are still worried that US companies export sensitive technology or accept their investment to Chinese companies that are ostensibly private, just to allow these Chinese companies to quickly hand over this technology to the Chinese military or intelligence agencies,” the letter was also written by Marco. Signed by Marco Rubio. , John Corning, Ben Sass, Rick Scott and Todd Young.

The senator’s letter stated that the Department of Commerce has only produced a “limited set of controlled emerging technologies…As long as these lists are incomplete and underutilized, the federal government will lack a functioning export control system and foreign investment. Screening procedures.”

The letter added, “It is unacceptable to make the United States vulnerable to Chinese economic plunder.”

An advisory report from the US Congress this month stated that the Department of Commerce had failed to do everything it could to protect national security and keep sensitive technologies from falling into the hands of the Chinese military.

The report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Board stated that the Department of Commerce is making slow progress in formulating a list of sensitive technologies and should conduct a review before exporting to China.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce responded on Tuesday that because “innovation is not static, and the technologies that cause national security issues will evolve over time, the goal of identifying these technologies will be a continuous effort, not a’finish’ or’ Complete the goal. “.

The Ministry of Commerce pointed out that it has issued four rules on the control of emerging technologies, and there are more to be determined. It pointed out that it expanded the military end-user rules and added the company to its list of entities, restricting US suppliers from selling products to companies such as Huawei Technologies and Hangzhou Hikvision.

In November 2018, the Ministry of Commerce announced 45 examples of emerging technologies, including facial and voice recognition, but did not have a finalized list. When Congress tightened its export policy and reviewed foreign investment procedures, it had not yet put forward a list of so-called “basic” technologies.

At the time, Chinese entities were trying to obtain sensitive American technology and apply civilian innovations to the military. The law directs the Ministry of Commerce to cooperate with other agencies to identify emerging or cutting-edge technologies and so-called basic technologies that are critical to the manufacture of important products such as semiconductors.

© Thomson Reuters 2021