Jeffrey LewisExpanded Export Controls on China?

If you care about export controls, you have to read Scott Gearity (right).

Scott finds further confirmation that the Commerce Department will propose more stringent export controls on dual-use items that make a “material contribution” to the capabilities of the Chinese military.

Scott noted the rumor in May. Now, Washington-based law firm Miller & Chevalier has published an alert warning clients:

A large volume of products, as well as related software and technology, could become subject to the proposed expanded export controls on China. BIS officials have said that the regulation should be published by the end of the year.

In another post, Scott comments on the nominations of David McCormick as Under Secretary for Export Administration and Darryl Jackson as Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement.

McCormick will arrive just as the Bush administration faces a base and Congress worked up about China, as evident by the East Asia Security Act of 2005 (description), concern over the UNOCAL purchase and the bipartisan insanity of U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (more ).

K. Oanh Ha in the San Jose Mercury-News reports McCormick’s job will be as “the Bush administration’s point man on the growing ‘hysteria over China’ …”

(The quote is from William Reinsch, who held the gig during the Clinton Administration.)

Good luck, buddy.


A little something that irritates me. Gertz keeps mentioning that “A Chinese front company won a contract from the system manufacturer and then stole details about Aegis”

The Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China (Cox & Dicks Report, after the Chairman and Ranking Democrat, right?) claimed China “attempted to use front companies to acquire sensitive information on restricted military technologies, including the Aegis combat system.”

“Attempted” is not “won.” As far as I can tell, no one at Lockheed or the always unnamed “front company” was criminally charged nor were any administrative penalties handed-out. Nor have I seen any evidence the technology obtained through the contract ended up on a Chinese platform.

Frankly, I am skeptical of how Cox defined “front company.” In 1997, Kurt Campbell testified that his colleagues at the Department of Defense “have identified only two [PLA] firms which conduct business in the United States.”

Cox, on the other hand, disputed Campbell’s accouting (wrongly attributing it to someone else) to suggest the number was much higher:

This may partly explain why, for example, in Senate testimony on the same day in 1997, the State Department [sic] said it could identify only two PLA companies that were doing business in the United States, while the AFL-CIO identified at least 12, and a Washington-based think-tank identified 20 to 30 such companies. The Select Committee has determined that all three figures are far below the true figure.

It seems quite likely, to me, this definition of “front company” was expanded to make a political point about China, the Clinton Administration and Lockheed-Martin.

If Lockheed ever finds out the name of the anonymous official, they ought to sue the living bejesus out of him for slander.

Full Disclosure: Kurt was my boss for, like, two weeks five years ago.