William Galston in the WSJ: U.S. Should Step Up the Tech Fight against China

The United States should step up domestic investment in its semiconductor industry and strengthen export controls to stop the People’s Republic of China from acquiring semiconductor manufacturing equipment, columnist William Galston writes in the Wall Street Journal this week.

Galston applauds the Trump Administration’s joint efforts with the Netherlands to “block the sale of Dutch-made semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China’s largest chip maker.”

It is “good news,” he adds, that the Biden administration intends to “continue such efforts and also work with allies to maintain the West’s technological edge in areas that will be crucial to defense as well as the economy.”

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Biden administration is working with allies to stay ahead of China’s capabilities in semiconductor development, artificial intelligence and other key tech industries.

On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX10) wrote in The Hill that President Biden’s forthcoming appointee to head the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is critical to stopping China’s acquisition of sensitive semiconductor manufacturing equipment after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo refused to say definitively whether she would keep Huawei on the U.S. Entity List.

“President Biden will soon nominate someone to lead BIS at the Commerce Department. They will have one of the most consequential jobs in our government, overseeing export control policy,” Rep. McCaul states. “This person must have strong national security credentials and deep understanding of the CCP to halt short-sighted and dangerous trade in dual-use technology. Although the United States is in a position of technological strength, we risk losing that position for the next generation of Americans if we inadvertently support the build-up an autocratic regime.”

 On Thursday, Secretary Raimondo said she would use the U.S. Entity List to its “full effect,” including keeping Huawei and other designees on the list for now.