The Republican-led China Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo calling for a crack down on sharing critical U.S. technology with China, and in particular for enforcement of U.S. export control laws to be tightened. The China Task Force is led by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), and is made up a number of members, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
The letter begins by noting the reports that China "has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile is a chilling display of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) capabilities and intentions," and that "[t]o make matters worse, it is likely that U.S. software and tools contributed to the creation of this weapons system, because of our country’s permissive export controls and licensing policies with China."
The letter then says that "U.S. export control authorities can help significantly constrain the CCP’s human rights abuses, surveillance state, and military modernization when used effectively," arguing that "[t]he next BIS Under Secretary must rigorously implement export controls to curb the CCP’s development of weapons systems—such as hypersonics—that are aimed at the United States and our allies’ forces in the Indo Pacific and around the world."
The letter "respectfully and urgently request you commit to working with Congress on ten recommendations of immediate concern:"
1. Use the FDPR [Foreign-produced Direct Product Rule] on all entities that enable the CCP’s military capabilities and human rights abuses.
2. Update the licensing policy for SMIC and expand its application to all PRC semiconductor foundries and fabrication facilities (fabs).
3. Restrict access to argon fluoride (ArF) immersion photolithography, extreme ultraviolet photolithography, advanced materials (photomasks and photoresists), and software necessary for any advanced foundry or fab in the PRC.
4. Restrict designs and photomasks for critical semiconductors that are developed using U.S. electronic design automation (EDA) software from being fabricated at PRC fabs.
5. Deny licenses that support the Comac C929, which is the PRC’s long-range wide-body airliner, and leverage the Annex on Cooperation on Non-Market Economies in the recent U.S.-EU agreement to coordinate technology transfer policies.
6. Coordinate with Congress to issue final rules on appropriate controls for fundamental research and open-source technology platforms.
7. Submit quarterly reporting to Congress on export control licensing outcomes to parties on the Entity List, Military End-User List, and the Chinese Military Companies List, as well as license outcomes for controlled items to the PRC.
8. Update the Export Administration Regulation Country Chart to better address the unique and evolving risks of technology trade with the PRC.
9. Set up a mechanism, with appropriate safeguards, to share BIS licensing information seamlessly and voluntarily with members of and observers on CFIUS as well as the intelligence community.
10. Create more transparency on the process for identifying emerging and foundational technologies and commit to time-bound metrics for identifying technology.