The Trump administration this week published new regulations aimed at preventing adversaries from making use of civilian supply chains for military uses.
“It is important to consider the ramifications of doing business with countries that have histories of diverting goods purchased from U.S. companies for military applications,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement on Monday. “Certain entities in China, Russia, and Venezuela have sought to circumvent America’s export controls, and undermine American interests in general, and so we will remain vigilant to ensure U.S. technology does not get into the wrong hands.”
A final rule published on Monday by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to expand military end user requirements controls on China, Russia and Venezuela and covers technologies such as semiconductor equipment, sensors and others sought for military use in these countries. The rule is effective June 29.
The new rule was welcomed by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who said in a statement on Tuesday that he has “long called for effective controls on technologies that empower China’s Military-Civil Fusion initiative, a program [that] uses China’s commercial sector as an arm of the People’s Liberation Army.”
On Tuesday, the department published another rule that amends the EAR by removing License Exception Civil End Users, which allowed exports, reexports and in-country transfers of certain national security-controlled items without requiring BIS review. These items will now require review under the new rule, which also goes into effect June 29.
The department on Tuesday also published a proposed rule that would eliminate exceptions for partner countries, including U.S. allies, to reexport national security-controlled items to countries of concern. The proposed rule stems from differences over how the U.S. and some of its partners and allies “perceive the threat caused by increasing integration of civilian and military technology development in countries of concern.”
The department also says that national security-controlled items that the U.S. would deny export to countries of concern may receive reexport licenses from certain allies to these countries due to different review standards. Comments to the proposed rule are due June 29.