Rhetoric Aside, Biden Will Continue With Trump Sanctions On China Tech Firms: Report

President Joe Biden will continue to allow the Commerce Department to block technology-related transactions with Chinese companies that pose a threat to national security, according to reports. The previous government's policies with regard to Chinese technology companies will continue despite the Biden administration carrying out a review of former President Donald Trump's policies.

"Trustworthy information and communications technology and services are essential to our national and economic security and remain a top priority for the Biden/Harris administration," a Commerce Department official told The Wall Street Journal.

US China flag
US China flags Reuters

As per a rule the Trump administration announced in November 2019, Commerce Department officials can block technology-related transactions with Chinese entities effective from March 22. The rule enables the Commerce Department to identify, assess, and address certain transactions between U.S. entities and foreign companies.

The Commerce Department said it was acting to ensure there is control over the flow of U.S. technology to the foreign companies in order to "protect US national security interests," Reuters reported. The initial list produced by the Department had names of as many as 89 Chinese aerospace and other companies.

The Biden administration had faced calls from US businesses to review this decision. it. The Business Roundtable, which consists of companies like Amazon, Citigroup and Walmart had called the rule unworkable, according to the Daily Caller. "This could create significant uncertainty in the business community, disrupt global supply chains, and make a range of trade and investment decisions very difficult," a letter by the Roundtable had said.

Huawei Logo
Huawei Logo Wikimedia Commons

In December, the US blacklisted China's top chipmaker SMIC, raising the stakes in the ongoing trade spat between the two largest economies of the world. It was reported then that at least a dozen other companies will also be blacklisted along with SMIC.

The Trump administration blacklisted Xiaomi in January, In line with the policy of taking on large Chinese corporations in the tech sector that allegedly have connections with the Chinese military.

China believes that the US is aiming to cripple China's rise as a global technology leader through these moves. Beijing also accuses Washington of trying to weaponize trade in order to win strategic goals. It also says the US is trying to resort to unfair means to retain its edge as a global technology powerhouse.