Russia Hammered by Export Controls, But China Gets a Pass

Roslyn Layton has a new column at Forbes illustrating some incoherence on the Commerce Department’s incoherent export control policy:

This week Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo kicked off the first Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) conference since the pandemic by saying that export controls “are at the red-hot center of how we best protect our democracies” and that they “matter more than ever.” As part of sweeping efforts in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, BIS added 36 new parties to the Entity List for providing support to Russia’s military and/or defense industrial base in connection with the Ukraine invasion, including 25 companies based in China.

Yet BIS has been slow to address dual use exports to China’s military, which is the far greater threat to U.S. security and interests. To quote the Director of the FBI, Chris Wray, “there is just no country that presents a broader threat…”

Experts say that BIS has been slow to impose new export controls on American technologies that could become tools of military or economic warfare. The reason for this inaction, as Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute observes, is because BIS capitulates to industry. “The true reason Commerce is dead set against restricting foundational technology is American companies make a good deal of money selling products utilizing foundational technology to China” he writes…

China isn’t slowing down, and with a threat like YMTC, neither can we. It’s time for the U.S. to take action.

Read the full column here.