The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to tighten restrictions around the export of high-tech goods to China in an attempt to stop its military from re-purposing U.S. technology.
Measures discussed by top U.S. officials in a meeting last week would prevent the sale of certain products to China, such as semiconductors and radar equipment, Reuters reported Thursday.
The White House did not return a request for comment from Reuters or The Hill, while a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry attacked the Trump administration when questioned about the news Thursday at a press conference, Reuters noted.
“We urge the U.S. to stop this purposeful slandering and look at China’s policy in an objective way and do more for the cooperation between our two sides,” the spokeswoman said.
U.S.-China relations have hit a low point in recent weeks as Beijing has objected to U.S. officials, including President Trump, using the country’s name as a descriptor for the novel coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in China before spreading worldwide. Chinese officials have also falsely suggested that the U.S. military developed the virus.
One Washington, D.C.-based trade lawyer, Doug Jacobson, told Reuters that the restrictions would be a new barrier to U.S.-China trade.
“It could be significant for certain companies,” Jacobson told Reuters. “In terms of whether that would lead to [license] denials, who knows? But it would be an additional hurdle to jump through for a U.S. company to sell to commercial end-users in China.”
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