CHINA / National

US to boost high-tech trade with China
Updated: 2006-06-10 08:53

The Bush administration is to revise laws to facilitate export of hi-tech equipment to China under a new policy designed to narrow its ring trade gap with the world's fastest growing economy.

Undersecretary of commerce for industry and security David McCormick, seen here in November 2005. The United States said it would revise laws to facilitate export of sensitive high technology equipment to China under a new policy designed to prevent such products from being used for military purposes. [AFP]
The new policy will spare the need for US exporters in such sectors as semiconductor equipment and electronics to apply for licenses for sales to Chinese companies, according to an AFP report on Saturday.

And, the administration will also ensure closer scrutiny of key technology purchasers in China, a senior US Department of Commerce official said.

The changes to Washington's so-called China Export Control Policy will achieve "growth in civilian high-tech trade and enhanced security," undersecretary of commerce for industry and security David McCormick said.

"These changes to technology export controls for China are a 'win-win'", he told a forum of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said Washington would encourage other nations to take similar steps.

The new policy, McCormick emphasized, would prevent exports of US technologies for incorporation into the weapons systems in China.

For example, he said that the cutting edge composite technology that helps China build commercial aircraft willll not find its way into the Super-7 next generation fighter aircraft.

US high-tech exports to China last year reached US$12 billion dollars and the new licensing flexibility would further open up "potentially hundreds of millions of dollars" worth of American sales to Chinese companies, McCormick said.

McCormick said the United States would not use a wide-ranging "catch-all regulation" under the new policy to prevent exports of technologies for incorporation into Chinese weapons systems.

It will not subject "everything from fountain pens to office furniture" to government scrutiny.