© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, February 1, 2022. Andrew Harnik / Pool via REUTERS
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday that the Biden administration is actively considering adding new Chinese companies to the government’s economic blacklist while examining what it calls China’s efforts to circumvent US sanctions.
The Department of Commerce’s Entity List restricts access to U.S. exports.
Raimondo told reporters that the administration was working to “get information about bad players in China and add these companies to the Entity List … We are in the middle of a series of investigations.”
She added: “I do not see that we are easing the sanctions for the time being.”
China is not standing still, she said. “They come with the fact that we know new ways of circumventing our sanctions, creating new ones (companies) and the like. We have a very aggressive and vigilant effort underway.”
She said whenever possible she would like to work with US allies to align their trade restrictions with US export controls.
The Trump administration aggressively used the Entity List and added dozens of Chinese companies including Huawei in 2019. It also added chip maker SMIC and Chinese drone maker DJI in 2020.
The Biden administration has expanded this policy and in November put a dozen Chinese companies on the Entity List of national security and foreign policy concerns, in some cases citing their help in developing the Chinese military’s quantum computational efforts.
In December, Commerce added China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes to the Entity List.
Raimondo cited a recent report that Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 was considering moving some production out of China. “I’ve heard the same thing from several other American manufacturing companies, many of which have been manufacturing in China for decades,” she said.
In February, the Department of Commerce added 33 Chinese units to its “unverified list,” which requires U.S. exporters to go through several procedures before shipping goods to the units.
The Chinese embassy in Washington said last year that the United States “uses the overarching concept of national security and abuses state power to oppress and restrict Chinese companies in all possible ways.”