New U.S. rules for comments: Commerce secretary will have the power to veto ‘sensitive technology’ deals

Under the Trump administration’s sweeping new plan, the U.S. Commerce Secretary will have the power to block any technology imports deemed to pose a potential threat to national security,media said. In response to the threat that Chinese devices were being used for “espionage”, the U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday issued rules requiring Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to personally approve sensitive deals, the Financial Times reported on Nov. 26.

Lawyers say the move could lead to a major new body, some likened to the powerful Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which could discourage any foreign investment in the United States, the report said.

Under the proposal, Ross has the right to block transactions involving sensitive hardware, software or data services by U.S. companies linked to “foreign adversaries,” the report said.

“These actions will secure the ICT supply chain, demonstrate our commitment to the digital economy, and deliver on President Trump’s commitment to our digital infrastructure,” Ross said. ”

U.S. businesses and experts now have 30 days to respond to the proposals, and U.S. officials stress that the Commerce Department has not yet decided how to implement them. But some in the tech industry predict that the move could create new obstacles for technology companies around the world seeking to sell their products to the huge U.S. market.

“It’s the equivalent of creating a new Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., but it’s not about investing in U.S. companies, it’s about any form of technology transfer,” said Kevin Wolfe, a partner at the law firm Ekin-Gomp. The United States is creating a whole new institution and a new regulatory structure. ”

In response to u.S. restrictions on Chinese enterprises, China has repeatedly taken a position urging the U.S. side to stop generalizing the concept of national security, not to abuse export controls to adopt discriminatory and unfair practices against specific enterprises in other countries, and to stop politicizing economic and trade issues.

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