Biden To Consider Targeted Restrictions For China Over Tech

The United States looks like it will not be changing its technology stance regarding China, that has seen numerous Chinese firms excluded on national security grounds.

President Joe Biden has ordered a review of the previous administration’s efforts to address US national security risks posed by Chinese tech firms. That indefinitely shelved TikTok’s sale to US-based Oracle and Walmart.

That briefly raised the hopes of Huawei, ZTE, and other Chinese firms of a possible US reprieve, but the Biden administration was quick to quash any hopes of a major US policy shift on bans and tariffs.

US review

This week President Biden and China’s president Xi Jinping exchanged strong words with each other during Biden’s first call as US President this week.

President Biden reportedly raised human rights concerns and the issue of Taiwan with his Chinese counterpart.

But now Reuters reported, citing a senior US official ahead of the President’s call, that the Biden administration will look at adding “new targeted restrictions” on certain sensitive technology exports to China in cooperation with allies.

The US will also not move to lift Chinese trade tariffs imposed by the Trump administration before it has conducted “intense consultation and review” with allies, the official told reporters during a briefing.

“We are maintaining those tariffs while we conduct our review because we’re not going to act precipitously,” he reportedly said.

Consulting allies

And it seems the United States really wants to gain the support of its allies on the matter.

“President Biden’s major criticism of the Trump strategy here was not that he wasn’t getting tough on China on trade, but that he was doing so alone, while also fighting our allies.”

The official said no decisions had been made yet on whether to lift the tariffs and that there would be areas of “continuity” with Trump’s policies.

“One of them is to ensure that we are not supplying highly sensitive technology that can advance China’s military capabilities. We will be bearing down on that,” the official reportedly said, adding the administration would look at new targeted restrictions on technology exports to China in consultation with US allies.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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