Report: U.S. Department of Commerce fails to act to prevent sensitive technology from flowing to China’s military

The U.S. Department of Commerce is not taking enough action to protect national security and prevent sensitive technology from flowing into the hands of the Chinese military, Reuters said on Tuesday, citing a report to be released by the U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission (USCC).

The report, citing the report seen by Reuters, said the U.S. Commerce Department has been slow in developing a list of sensitive technologies that need to be scrutinized before being exported to China, which could increase national security risks. The report notes that the Commerce Department was tasked with consolidating U.S. export control regulations, but has so far failed to fulfill its responsibilities.

In 2018, Congress tightened export policies and increased foreign investment reviews in response to attempts by Chinese entities to acquire sensitive U.S. technologies. That same year, Congress also passed the Export Control Reform Act, which requires the Commerce Department to work with other departments to identify emerging or cutting-edge technologies that should be regulated, as well as “foundational technologies” such as key processes for semiconductor manufacturing.

In November 2018, the Commerce Department listed 45 emerging technologies, including face and voice recognition, but the agency has yet to finalize the list or propose a list of foundational technologies.