August 2021 Newsletter

New Vlog: Pittenger On Massive China Campaign To Collect Data.
In the second vlog of our High Tech Heist video series on banking cybersecurity, Dr. Roslyn Layton sat down with Congressman Robert Pittenger to discuss the growing threat of Chinese data collection, his work as lead author of the 2018 Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) to reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and the ways in which he confronted U.S. industries, including banking and the military, about doing business with risky Chinese technology vendors, including Lenovo. “The Chinese are in a massive campaign in collecting data,” Pittenger told Layton. View the full video here

Video: CSET Expert On Importance Of American Semiconductor Market. 

Dr. Roslyn Layton sat down with Will Hunt with Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) where they discussed the importance of the American semiconductor market and the ways in which we can ensure a strong national supply chain policy in the face of increasing national security and economic threats. Among the key points explored in the discussion are US semiconductor strengths, the role corporate revenue plays in export control decision making and reasons YMTC should be on the Entity List. View the video here

Praise For BIS Nominee Estevez And Calls For More On His Position On Export Controls.

On July 13, President Biden named Alan Estevez to head the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). In a statement on his nomination, China Tech Threat Co-Founder Dr. Roslyn Layton looked ahead to his confirmation hearing stating, “we expect the members of the Senate Banking Committee to ask Mr. Estevez how he intends to strengthen controls on strategic technologies like advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment, whether BIS will move quickly to restrict known semiconductor fabs aligned with the Chinese military like YMTC and CMXT, and how BIS will enforce the updated requirements of the Export Control and Reform Act (ECRA) of 2018.” For more on BIS and Estevez, including a research memo on Estevez’s views on export controls, visit our Future of BIS page. 

Former BIS Heads Urge Senators To Focus On China Policy During Estevez Confirmation Hearing.

The same day President Biden nominated Alan Estevez, China Tech Threat hosted a virtual event featuring four former BIS heads spanning the Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations. The timing of the event enabled the former agency heads to comment on the breaking news and they used the opportunity to urge lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee, which will oversee his confirmation, to be direct in questioning Mr. Estevez about his position on China. For video highlights of the event, click here

Column: Banking Committee Chairman Expects To Move Quickly On BIS Confirmation.

In a new Forbes column on BIS nominee Estevez’s confirmation hearing, Dr. Roslyn Layton provides a history of the Senate Banking Committee and its jurisdiction over the modern export control system. The column notes the work by Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown and Ranking Member Pat Toomey to attach a bipartisan amendment to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act which provides for a review of export controls on items that could be used to support human rights abuses in China. On Estevez’s nomination, a spokesperson for Chairman Brown’s office told Layton, “The Under Secretary plays a critical role in protecting our economic and national security. Senator Brown looks forward to hearing more about Mr. Estevez’s vision and priorities for this key national security position, and expects the Committee to move quickly on his nomination.”

The Hill and White House Get Tough On The CPP’s Abuses.

In a series of separate actions, members of Congress, the White House and various agencies collectively advanced policies to protect the security, privacy and prosperity of all Americans when it comes to technology and competition with China. One of the actions, a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), called for Chinese chipmaker Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) to be added to the department’s Entity List, citing ties to the Chinese military. The lawmakers wrote that urgency is needed to make sure memory chip supply does not become a “point of leverage” for China over the U.S. Concerns with the same company were also cited in the administration’s 100-day supply chain review report.

OpEd: Can Strategic Trade Nominee Lead Crucial Agency To Compete With China? In an op-ed published by Real Clear Defense, Dr. Roslyn Layton examines the escalating importance of (BIS) and offers insight into the recent nomination of Alan Estevez as its head. “This nomination comes at a pivotal time as U.S.-China relations continue to escalate. The United States must take definitive action to bolster competition at home, build strategic partnerships with our allies and create a reliable framework for stopping the flow of sensitive information to our adversaries,” wrote Layton.

Iowa Tech Purchases Place Critical Infrastructure Agencies In Jeopardy of Cyberattacks.

As part of its ongoing work to expose states that have been engaging in risky tech contracts with Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers including Lexmark and Lenovo, both of which have been restricted by the Pentagon, China Tech Threat found Iowa has spent more than $1 million on Lenovo products in recent years. The technology purchases make Iowa residents vulnerable because the Chinese government has access and control over all data on their products. The report shows the level of Iowa spending on these products has increased each year and that both the State Departments of Transportation and Education hold these contracts, which is especially concerning given recent cyber attacks on our nation’s infrastructure and our academic institutions