WASHINGTON – The US government announced on Monday that six Chinese firms are among 12 foreign companies and individuals added to a list of entities required to obtain licenses for the export or re-export of products featuring “sensitive technologies.”
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) decided to include the dozen people and organizations on its Entity List after finding that they sought to evade barriers to delivery of specific items to the Iranian government, the Chinese military and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
“The Trump Administration will vigorously defend against any action which could harm American citizens or our nation’s security,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
“Moreover, we cannot allow China’s civil-military integration strategy to undermine US national security through prohibited technology transfer plots orchestrated by state actors. This designation complements criminal actions BIS and the Department of Justice are taking to penalize the theft of controlled US technology,” he said.
Four Chinese firms are accused of trying to obtain items of US origin “that would have supported Iran’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and military programs,” the Commerce Department said.
Two other Chinese companies evaded export rules to supply “controlled technology” ultimately intended for China’s armed forces.
A Pakistani company was added to the Entity List for obtaining restricted items on behalf of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
The Chinese firms newly included on the list are: Avin Electronics Technology Co.; Longkui Qu; Multi-Mart Electronics Technology; Taizhou CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology; Tenco Technology; and Yutron Technology.
“We are putting individuals, businesses, and organizations across the world on notice that they will be held accountable for supporting Iran’s WMD activities and other illicit schemes,” Ross said.
The Commerce Department’s action comes amid an intensifying trade war between the United States and China.
Last week, President Donald Trump more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products and said he had instructed his staff to develop plans to impose levies on an additional $300 billion worth of goods from China.
Beijing said Monday that it would impose duties on $60 billion worth of US products starting June 1.
Chinese and US trade negotiators met last week in Washington, but they adjourned without an agreement and no further talks are scheduled.