Export Control Whistleblower Testimony, U.S. Legacy Chip Neglect, State Spending Report

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Former DOD Export Control Official Tells House Committee Broken Export Control System Practices Willful Blindness. In testimony delivered Thursday before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on BIS and export controls in an era of strategic competition, former DOD export control official and U.S. Army artillery officer Steven Coonen testified that he resigned his post in 2021 over frustrations with the U.S. government’s export control regime. He said the system is marked by ineffectiveness and a willful blindness to how China is legally capturing controlled American technologies. In addition to his testimony, Coonen partnered with CTT to release a paper this week on our failed export control system that is putting American troops at risk. His personal assessment in “Willful Blindness: An Insider’s Account of How America’s Ineffective Export Control Regime Increases Chinese Military Strength” includes hard-to-find details of how the export control system really works – or doesn’t.

U.S. Must Fight Looming Chinese Monopoly In Legacy Chip Sector: China Tech Threat’s latest paper Every Chip Matters details the dangers a looming Chinese legacy chip monopoly poses to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. As the U.S. government exclusively targets China’s advanced chip manufacturing sector, the PRC is exploiting the U.S. government’s tunnel vision and spending billions to dominate legacy chip manufacturing. The paper offers three solutions to confront the Chinese monopoly of legacy chips, which are already found in virtually every electronic device from cars to medical devices and consumer electronics to our defense systems.

Indiana Is 4th State In 2023 To Ban Dangerous Chinese Tech. On May 1, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a law to prohibit the purchase of dangerous Chinese technology that could put the state and its sensitive data at risk of intrusion by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In doing so, Indiana joins the growing list of states that have enacted similar bills in recent weeks, including IdahoSouth DakotaArkansas as well as Florida and Georgia which enacted laws in 2022. A 2019 Department of Defense Inspector General report warned against purchases of technology products by PRC-owned technology manufacturers Lenovo and Lexmark, which are restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connections to the Chinese government and military, but are still being purchased by state governments.  

Coming May 17: 46 of 50 States Made Recent Purchases From PRC-Owned Companies. Where Does Your State Stand? On May 17, CTT will release its final installment of our 2023 spending analysis of how much each state has spent on restricted PRC-owned technology from Lexmark and Lenovo and where that dangerous technology is deployed in each state. While there are some positive recent developments, CTT does not tell an encouraging story for a vast majority of states which have cumulatively spent more than $285 million on Lenovo and Lexmark products.

Narrow U.S. Export Controls Allow PRC To Stockpile American Semiconductor Toolmaking Equipment. Reuters recently reported that two companies that make tools for manufacturing chips expect sales to China to boom later this year despite U.S. export restrictions on equipment used to make cutting-edge semiconductors. CTT’s blog points to the report and a recent LAM Research quarterly earnings call as just the latest evidence that American semiconductor toolmakers are cashing in on China’s dependence on our equipment to make their own chips. The result? American toolmakers are enabling China to dominate the global semiconductor business at the expense of our national and economic security. “For the sake of U.S. national and economic security, the Biden Administration and Congress must take the threat of a Chinese-dominated legacy chip sector seriously and do more to close export control loopholes,” the blog warns.