BEIJING: US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo discussed concerns about restrictions on American businesses including Intel and Micron with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Monday in a meeting where the two countries also agreed to launch an export control enforcement information dialogue.
The pair also discussed China’s restrictions on gallium and germanium exports in wide-ranging and candid talks that lasted more than two hours, followed by a two-hour lunch, according to brief comments from Raimondo and the Commerce Department.
Raimondo wants to address concerns from US businesses that are having difficulties operating in China. “We’re delivering. We will have that formal communication,” she said in a meeting with business officials.
She is the latest Biden administration official to travel to Beijing in an effort to strengthened communications, particularly over the economy and defense, as the economic friction between the world’s two largest economies threatens to shake business relationships on both sides.
Both superpowers agree to new formal working group on commercial issues
Raimondo told reporters that she had discussed concerns over China’s effective ban on purchases of Micron Technology memory chips with her Chinese counterpart.
As part of the discussions, Washington and Beijing also agreed to a new formal working group on commercial issues as well as the informational exchange on export control enforcement, the US Commerce Department said.
The launch of the exchange would provide a “platform to reduce misunderstandings of US national security policies,” Raimondo said, adding: “We are not compromising or negotiating on matters of national security. Period.”
The first in-person meeting of the export control information exchange will be led on the US side by Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod at the Ministry of Commerce, in Beijing, on Tuesday, Raimondo added.
A senior official said the exchange will meet at least yearly and emphasised it is not a policy dialogue but an effort for both sides to answer questions about how export controls work.
“We’re not negotiating what our policies are going to be,” the official added.
“The United States is committed to be transparent about our export control enforcement strategy,” she said. “To show you how real this is, the first meeting of that new information exchange is tomorrow in Beijing. We’re wasting no time.”
China has criticised US efforts to block China’s access to advanced semiconductors through export controls, but Raimondo has said those are not open for debate.
The White House this month moved to start prohibiting some US investment in sensitive technologies in China and plans to soon finalise sweeping export restrictions on advanced semiconductors adopted in October.
Earlier this year, Raimondo said more than 200 Chinese companies had been put on a US export control list and has repeatedly said she not hesitant to use the power as necessary.
Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2023