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US considers new restrictions on exports to China
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-29 16:29:18

    BEIJING, July 29 -- The Bush administration is going to impose stricter restrictions on exporting American technologies and products to China, as Washington is getting increasingly nervous about non-stop Chinese rises on the world stage.

    The U.S. Commerce Department is reportedly preparing to issue rules by the end of 2005, that would impose stricter limits on exports of American civilian technology that, allegedly, also has military uses, like aircraft parts, computer chips and machine tools, said Peter Lichtenbaum, the department's acting under secretary for industry and security, the International Herald Tribune reported.

    "They're heading for a clash," the Bloomberg News quoted US trade expert Edmund Rice as saying.

    "U.S. industry is integrating with China, but the Bush administration is taking steps that are taking U.S. policy in a virtually opposite direction," said Rice, the president of the US Coalition for Employment Through Exports, which represents companies like Boeing.

    The new export rules would expand restrictions on items that are considered ¡°sensitive,¡± Lichtenbaum said.

    They include semiconductors made by Intel, chip-making equipment sold by Advanced Micro Devices, planes made by Boeing, aircraft parts from Honeywell International and machine tools made by companies like Gleason, according to U.S. Commerce Department documents.

    Currently, only 1.5 percent of the $35 billion in U.S. exports to China requires a government export license, the department says. Depending on how the new rules are structured, U.S. industry lobbyists say, the proportion could grow to more than 10 percent.

    World leading chip maker Intel Corp has reported that its Asia operations lead global sales growth. China alone accounted for about $5 billion of the company's $34 billion company revenue last year. Intel has 5,000 employees in China and has invested $1.3 billion in design centers, laboratories and factories there.

    "We're living in a world where technology has become a commodity," Jennifer Greeson, an Intel spokeswoman, said. "Restricting access to markets would have a pretty significant impact on the U.S. technology sector."

    Boeing, which this year won orders from Chinese airlines for 60 of its new 787 Dreamliner jets, said in June that it would use about $600 million in parts from Chinese companies.

    The Bush Administration is still debating the details of the new regulations, and an intense lobbying campaign is being waged to influence the outcome, Bloomberg reported.

    Business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Aerospace Industries Association have been trying to limit any new restrictions.

    Pat McCartan, director of legislative affairs for the aerospace group, said that while "we don't want to supply the Chinese military," the changes being considered by the administration and the U.S. Congress "would slow our exports to China."

    As China intends to embrace for more imports from America to balance the trade sheet, which now is in China¡¯s favor, the Bush Administration and U.S. Congress have increased efforts to lay more barriers, amid a growing conservative voice in Washington which alleges a rising China hurts American national security, Chinese analysts said.

    For instance, the House of Representatives approved legislation earlier this week that would allow companies to seek a broader array of duties on imports from China, and require the U.S. Treasury Department to closely monitor Beijing's currency policies.

    And, a recent $18.5 billion bid by the Chinese oil company CNOOC to buy the California-based Unocal has encountered strong opposition in the U.S. Congress. U.S. lawmakers this week ordered a review that may delay by 141 days a government decision on whether to allow the acquisition, effectively thwarting the Chinese firm¡¯s bid. Enditem

(Source: China Daily)

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