Regulatory intelligence for US exporters

BIS Has ‘No Big Gaps’ in Technology Controls, Official Says

The Bureau of Industry and Security believes its export controls are adequate to protect all 19 of the critical and emerging technology categories identified by the White House as important to national security (see 2202090016), a BIS official said on Jan. 17.

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"I think that we have room to improve, but there are no big gaps," said Thea Kendler, the BIS assistant secretary for export administration. “I would say that we have controls in each of these spaces. Our controls are generally defined in terms of technological floors, so as innovation occurs in these areas, they are already captured, and if they’re not, we are working with our allies and partners” to address them.

Kendler made her comments before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific in response to questioning from Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., who said China seeks to replace the U.S. as the global leader in critical and emerging technologies “at any cost -- bullying, bribery and outright [intellectual property] theft.”

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., credited the Biden administration with “supercharging” U.S. export control policy amid growing challenges in the Indo-Pacific. “The administration’s expansive export controls go further than any previous administration,” such as by restricting China’s access to advanced computing chips in October 2022 and expanding those restrictions a year later (see 2310170055).

Kendler said the BIS Entity List contains 787 China-based entities, more than a third of which have been added during the current administration. She also said BIS is getting ready to survey industry about legacy chips “as an area where we need more information about our supply chain.”

Also during the hearing, Kendler said she visited California’s Silicon Valley last fall to help educate startups about export controls. “We have responsibility at Commerce which we’re deeply engaged in to educate all sorts of enterprises -- small, medium, well-established, nascent -- about those controls,” she said.