U.S. Tightens High-Tech Export Controls For China

Government introduces a 'validated end-use' program as well.

The U.S. on June 15 slapped new restrictions on high-technology exports to China and moved to create a pool of so-called "trusted customers" within the Chinese business community who will be rewarded for compliance with U.S. guidelines.

The measures, announced by the Commerce Department, came amid growing concern in the administration and Congress that China is using its booming high-technology trade with the U.S. to accelerate a massive military buildup that might undercut U.S. interests in Asia. The updated export control list that has been under consideration for more than a year covers a total of 20 product categories ranging from avionics to computer software.

It includes aircraft and aircraft engines, inertial navigation systems, lasers, optical fibers, depleted uranium, underwater cameras and propulsion systems, certain composite materials and telecommunications equipment.

Export of such equipment with potential military applications, which is also known as dual-use technology, requires a U.S. government license.

At the same time, the government is introducing a so-called "validated end-user" program, under which certain "trusted customers" in China will be able to receive dual-use items without individual export licenses if they establish their bona fides in Washington. Officials said these companies must have "a track record of responsible civilian use of U.S.-controlled technology." To prove it, they will be required to submit information about their ownership structure, transactions, items considered for importation and subsequent transfers as well as internal control and record-keeping procedures. Candidates for "trusted customers" will also have to agree to government on-site inspections of their facilities.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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