Lam Research’s China Revenues Show that U.S. Export Controls Aren’t Working; Blanket Policy Denials Are Needed

By Steve CoonenA top U.S. semiconductor manufacturing equipment manufacturer, Lam Research, released its most recent quarterly results last week, and the numbers clearly indicate that U.S. export controls are not working. As Nikkei Asia reports:Despite the semiconductor-related export curbs first announced in October 2022 that barred American companies from shipping advanced chip equipment to China without a license, the country remains Lam’s largest revenue contributor, contributing 48% of the total in the three-month period, up from 30% a year ago and 26% in the previous quarter.That’s right, Lam’s China revenues are rising as a percentage of company revenue, not falling.Lam’s leadership doesn’t foresee its China business dropping off, either. Referring to new export controls released last… Read More

How BIS Has Accommodated Corporations at The Expense of National Security

By Steve CoonenRecently I was asked, “On a scale of A to F, how would you grade BIS’s performance over the past 5 years?”My response: “If one removes ‘security’ (the S from BIS), then BIS fully merits an A+.”That’s not a compliment. For years BIS has accommodated corporations and industry groups at the expense of American national security.For starters, the Commerce Department’s core mission of advancing U.S. economic interests has prevented an appropriately rigorous approach to export controls. The Department of Commerce’s self-described mission is to “to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities.” Consequently, BIS’s goal of denying the export of U.S. technology which can be used for military purposes is… Read More

CTT Issues Memo In Advance of BIS Oversight Hearing: What is the Commerce Department’s Export Control Policy?

In advance of Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Under Secretary Alan Estevez’s appearance before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee July 14 hearing on export controls, China Tech Threat issued a memo to congressional staff and interested parties on BIS’ failure to apply China-related export controls. The memo highlights the potential dissonance between Estevez’s stated long-term priority to “stop [China] from using our technology against us” and Secretary Raimondo’s assertion that “selling a commodity product to a Chinese company is in and of itself not problematic.” It also poses a set of key questions that would help clarify Commerce Department’s position on employing China-focused export controls: Does the Commerce Department plan to impose export controls in response to the threat from YMTC? If not, why… Read More

CTT Requests Commerce Dept. Explain Policy Reversal

FOIA seeks disclosure of agency communications with top 3 chip machine makersWASHINGTON – China Tech Threat (CTT) called on Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to clarify the agency’s position on export control enforcement and sales of American semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SME) to China. The request follows Sec. Raimondo’s recent public statements, quoted in news reports, that U.S. companies equipping Chinese government-owned and affiliated competitors is “not problematic.” CTT submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain details of meetings Sec. Raimondo held with the CEOs of the top U.S. chip machine makers.Sec. Raimondo’s comments, including that “nothing is wrong” with U.S. companies selling SME to Chinese companies aligned with the Chinese military, contradict the Commerce Department’s… Read More