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Stopping Key Tech Exports to China Could Backfire, Researchers and Firms Say


May 14, 2019

In 2018, the Commerce Department proposed categories of “emerging technology” for export controls. “The problem is that these categories are exceptionally broad, denoting large buckets of technologies that are often layered into a diverse set of applications, most with no relevance to national security,” says CSET’s Lorand Laskai.

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In this article, CSET’s Helen Toner notes U.S. companies and labs attract top talent worldwide. “Supporting that will help the U.S. retain its advantage over the longer term.”

“We should be clear-eyed about what is going on in China, especially with regard to human rights abuses, but we should not be hysterical about the level of security threat that China poses,” said Helen Toner, CSET's director of strategy. “If the U.S. can act wisely and place its values front and center, it’s likely we can reach a new equilibrium that serves our interests. Fear and hype tend to damage the U.S. rather than serve it.”

Lorand Laskai, Visiting Researcher at CSET, and co-author Ashley Feng of the Center for a New American Security explore how U.S.-China economic and technological decoupling are taking place in a number of ways.