Global Trade magazine has carried 2 article about the increasing conflict in the high-tech and sensitive industries –


Global Trade in the US carried an article on 20 June saying that the US – and other countries – are increasingly turning to the practice of “blacklisting” persons and companies that pose a national security risk and that governments can either prohibit their sale to foreign entities, governments or individuals, or require the technologies be sold only upon issuance of a government licence. It points out that while the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) includes a general prohibition on quantitative restrictions on both imports and exports, but contains built-in exceptions that allow for export control regimes. In the US, under the 2018 Export Control Reform Act, the Commerce Department can review its list of controlled technologies to consider “emerging and foundational technologies” that should be added to its control list. It also maintains a Restricted Entity List with those persons and businesses subject to a policy of presumed denial for all products, whether on the controlled technologies list or not. US companies may not export to entities on this list except through waivers and specific licences.  The article also tells how US companies are now in a double bind. They must comply with US export restrictions but doing so may land them on China’s newly created “Unreliable Entity List” which China created the list as a countermeasure to US measures.  The article also mentions how other countries, and the EU, are stepping up their controls as well.


On 18 June, Global Trade carried an article saying that gaining the technology upper hand requires the secure production or supply of advanced semiconductors, which makes the controls on trade in semiconductors a harbinger for how “techno-nationalist” trade policies are reshaping global supply chains. The article looks at the Chinese semiconductor sector.  However, it says that China is not alone in its interdependence on global value chains. Leading US, European, Japanese and South Korea semiconductor companies have all developed and optimised geographically dispersed production networks.  It then goes on to say that the US government has taken steps to block Chinese acquisitions and investments in US technology companies and has also made critical changes to the US export controls programme, which recently expanded the technologies included on the Controlled Commodity List (CCL) – technologies which require issuance of an export licence prior to sale and transfer to a foreign market. It says that the US is not alone in its trade countermeasures, as the EU is also turning to techno-nationalism.

The article includes a link to a January 2020 report “Semiconductors at the heart of the US-China tech war” –


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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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