back to article US prez Trump's administration reportedly nears new rules banning 'dual-use' tech sales to China

The US government is reportedly close to introducing stringent new rules that would stop Chinese companies from buying certain high-technology components, including semiconductors and optical materials. As reported by Reuters, these new rules, which have been in development for over a year, would have drastic implications on …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    What happens if those dual use products also have a use in medical equipment, say ventilators, which get exported to the US? One of the effects of globalisation is that it's not a big world any more. Or, to put it another way, it's difficult to shoot somebody else without your own foot getting in the way.

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      To be honest, Donald d'Orange (© V. Stob) has shot himself so many times in the feet, I'm surprised he can still stand up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's exports TO China from the US. They're allowing imports of dual-use equipment.

      1. DiViDeD

        Re: exports TO China from the US

        Yes, but if those Chinese made ventilators (or medical imagers, or whatever) need dual use components from the US, then those ventilators (etc) are simply not going to be made and therefore unavailable to the US. What price "That'll fix the commie bastards" then?

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >What happens if those dual use products also have a use in medical equipment, say ventilators

      They get vastly cheaper. China now has an incentive to pour $Bn into developing it's own FPGA product lines which it can then sell for much less.

      1. Suricou Raven

        Plus we get a technological arms race. Great for motivating governments to throw limitless piles of money into research, which they later end up stealing from each other.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Of course it gets cheaper. They just steal their designs from the Western Nations.

        1. DiViDeD

          Re: @Coward.

          They just steal their designs from the Western Nations

          Not for many years now. China trains more scientists and engineers every year than any other nation on earth. Or do you think Huawei stole the technology for 5G from Cisco?

          1. Troy Tempest

            Re: @Coward.

            Huawei can’t resist, it’s in their blood to steal - how about recent “tappy”?

    4. Danny 2

      Trump has put his foot in his mouth, then shot himself in his foot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Luckily he missed his brain by over 3 feet...

    5. Suricou Raven

      Wrong example. FPGAs are not going to be used in ventilators. I'm sure there are plenty of them in medical imaging equipment though. That's just the type of high-speed signal processing work they are made for.

      1. Cederic Silver badge


        I'm sorry, I'm confused. Why would you use a FPGA in a production run rather than use it for prototyping, then have that logic hardwired in?

        Is it a volume thing where volumes are too low to justify the chip design, or are there other benefits to FPGAs?

    6. Anonymous Coward

      @Doctor Syntax


      You need a FPGA to build a ventilator which was first built in the late 1950's replacing iron lungs?

      C'mon. Lets be realistic.

      I agree that there has to be some limits. I mean your Apple iPhone contains enough compute power to land a lunar lander on the moon.

      I suppose you wouldn't be as harsh if this were Obama doing it in response to the continue human rights violations coming out of China.

      Just keeping it real.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: @Doctor Syntax

        You guys are so tribal with your "teams"...

        "If someone criticises Trump, they must love Obama"?

        Funnily enough, the one most obsessed with Obama is Trump himself - you know, they guy who amongst other things, shuttered pandemic response initiatives because Obama set them up.

        Oops, does that make me an Obama fan now?

        1. DiViDeD

          Re: @Doctor Syntax

          "If someone criticises Trump, they must love Obama"?

          That's pretty much the way they think. Just as there is a particular demographic who hears the phrase "perhaps hardcore pornography isn't the best way to teach 3 year olds about sex" as "I think we should go back to putting dresses on piano legs in case men get inflamed from seeing them"

          We've moved on from "my enemy's enemy is my friend", via "if you're not with us you're against us" and now find ourselves in the world of "If you don't agree with me 100% on absolutely everything, you are obviously a perverted, murdering paedophile"

          And reason and discourse become weaponised.

          1. BebopWeBop

            Re: @Doctor Syntax

            Reason and discourse are rarely useful as weapons in a conversatiom with that lot.

      2. DiViDeD

        Re: @Doctor Syntax

        ... you wouldn't be as harsh if this were Obama ...

        95% of the world has no partisan interest in either major US political party. But we can still recognise a self destructive clown when we see one.

        And we see one.

        1. BebopWeBop

          Re: @Doctor Syntax

          Well let's face it, we all appear to have them - idiocy is no respecter of nationality or borders.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    It doesn't matter anyway

    Trump has been pushing China and trying to get people to think that he is punishing China.

    The only real effect is that China is gearing up to be self-sufficient. It's going to happen, and when it does, the USA is going to learn just what it means to not have a practical, pliable industrial base for creating all the shit it consumes year after year.

    Because if making stuff for the USA becomes an optional activity for Chinese companies, the US is going to actually have to learn to make stuff for itself again. With all the pricing effects that is going to have.

    And I can't wait for that to happen. We need to learn to pay the just price for the things we want. That will encourage us to really think about what we want. And that will put a brake on plundering the riches of our planet while throwing them away at the same time.

    Well, I hope so anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It doesn't matter anyway

      The Trumpster is playing to his electorate. It is election year remember.

      He is a loose cannon that the world really can't affort at this time.

      All he cares about is getting the required number of electorial college votes come November.

      His recent moves to invoke a Korean War Era act to force GM and Ford to make Ventilators is just part of that election campaign. Be seen to be doing something even if it is doomed.

      You only have to look at the recent loosening of EPA rules to see what his primary focus is. Make more less efficient cars that burns more oil is GOOD. Good in that his primary donors are Big Oil Companies.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: It doesn't matter anyway

      Say what you will about Trump. He's the first POTUS in a long time that understands how to use finance as a weapon.

      As we look at the COVID pandemic, its very apparent that China is not the world leader that it claims to be. I have a friend in the UK who is at serious risk from COVID and his wife is self isolating within the house because she most likely has it. We don't know because she can't get tested unless she goes into the hospital if it gets that severe. So yeah. China tried to bury this until they couldn't and their reported numbers don't jibe with the numbers from the rest of the world.

      What we've learned is that too much globalization is not a good thing.

      What is truly disappointing is that the Chinese propaganda is working. At least Japan called the WHO CHO due to the failure and kow towing to China.

      I'm sure I'm going to get down voted because of the lemmings who can't take the time to see how the information from China came too late and was highly inaccurate.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: It doesn't matter anyway

        You praise Trump, whilst in the same post criticise China for innacracies.

        Let's see:

        After the disease was in Washington state and the World Health Organization reported a high global risk, Trump said there were no worries of a pandemic.

        The day the stock market plummeted, Trump said the virus was very much under control in the U.S., and the stock market was looking pretty good to him.

        A few days after declaring a national emergency, Trump said he had “always known” this was a pandemic.


        Even more:

      2. Chris G

        Re: It doesn't matter anyway

        Trump understands that finance can be used as a weapon on about the same level as a barrow boy or a souk merchant.

        Every shot he fires at the Chinese, richochets and injures bystanders including those apparently on his side.

        Add to that the fact that the Fed has been printing money and creating debt faster than a speeding bullet, especially in the face of this pandemic

        and then top it with the poorly and rapidly deployed world shut down due to covid 19 and everyone will be suffering from the rapidly approaching recession we are about to have.

        Trump's actions won't have helped anyone and he is responsible for much of it.

      3. Roger Kynaston

        Re: It doesn't matter anyway

        I shouldn't rise to this but ...

        First caveat IANE (I am not an Epidemiologist) so this is probably all bollocks anyway.

        As a right pondian I am cooped up in my house along with some large fraction of the world human (and simian - chimps, bonobos and gorillas) population. This virus had it's origins in a province of China. Yes, the Chinese government made some serious errors in the early stages of the epidemic that may have facilitated its spread to being a pandemic. The government here has made some serious errors as well that look to make the outbreak worse. It seems to this non expert that all governments have made mistakes Donald D'Orange's as much as anyone.

        On a specific point you mention - the WHO is not criticising the Peoples Republic as strongly as it should. One reason for this is that it is very dependent of funding from that country because a certain other head of state has been very late in authorizing payments to the WHO.

        As always in international affairs, finger pointing and point scoring rarely work out well for anyone. The Chinese and US governments have shown a woeful lack of understanding of this principle recently. Thus, tit for tat trade disputes are bad for all.


      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It doesn't matter anyway

        As we look at the COVID pandemic, its very apparent that China is not the world leader that it claims to be.

        They certainly aren't, are they? I mean the US is just way ahead: more than 7,000 deaths compared with 3,326 in China. And that's really being unfair to the US: there are about 1,400 million people in China, only 324 million in the US: if the US was the size of China they'd have more than 30,000 deaths. China's just failing miserably at helping CV19 do its work.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ... Trump.

        He's the first POTUS in a long time that understands ...

        You lost me there.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In ten years time, China will be restricting exports to the West -- of things we desparately need!

    How long before China has chip foundries of its own? first it will be simpler chips. But before too long it will be serious competition for the likes of Intel and AMD. AMD currently use the interim, why can the Chinese not do the same?


    Western countries (and companies like Apple) have led a race to the bottom, focused primarily on cost, using Chinese manufacturing. The result has been twofold:

    - the hollowing out of technical knowledge in the West

    - a huge rise in technical knowledge and competence in China


    One not so obvious consequence of this disastrous policy choice by the West is that China is poised to afford huge investments in stuff like chip foundries. I wonder what politicians will be saying in, say five or ten years time, when the West DEPENDS on proprietary Chines products which the West cannot produce? We've seen an early indicator with the Huawei row. More to come!!!!

    1. Mark Exclamation

      Re: In ten years time, China will be restricting exports to the West

      Exactly this! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A lot of those product are already made in China, imported to the US and incorporated into equipment which is then resold worldwide.

  5. MrMerrymaker

    Mr Bombastic

    How long til some moron defends Trump Le Monde here?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @Mr Merrymaker Re: Mr Bombastic

      Longer than it took for some moron attacked Trump for doing the right thing.

      BTW, I happen to manage a global team and the only casualty so far is in the UK.

      So who do you blame? Trump for that? Or Boris and the UK NHS for not being able to cope.

      Sorry Mate, Trump may be many things... but he's done a heck of a job. He probably gets too much credit. After all, most of his success was stopping the mistakes Obama did.

  6. Danny 2

    FPGA FLA (four letter acr.)

    A field-programmable gate array was an eighties thing, my ballpark, I'm delighted that is still the same acronym.

    China sent medical supplies to Cuba and the US - the US banned Cuba from getting theirs even though they have been exporting doctors to Italy.

    The CIA phoned me up when I was 17 to insist I didn't sell my computer board to Hungary because it had relays on board. Yeah, switches. I told them to eff off.

  7. Dr_N

    Dual Use Technology

    Is that like nuclear chicken coops and flame-throwing rakes...?

  8. martinusher Silver badge

    Bureaucracy, a growth industry

    This sort of thing reminds me of the tale of Harry J Anslinger, a bureaucrat in the 1930s who's job was initially enforcing Prohibition. When faced with the job going away he turned his attention to other social menaces, including the Demon Weed. The moral being that you can never get a bureaucrat to organize themselves out of a job. This business of prohibiting export of 'sensitive' technology goes back many decades. I first came across it in the early 80s when the US was making sure that it and its allies didn't export anything useful to Russia. Names from then crop up now except now the focus has changed from Russia to China. Since China produces a lot more products for the world market than the USSR of old everything's grown and I'd guess with it the army of bureaucrats charged with administering and enforcing it. Trump's part in this is mostly patsy -- having campaigned heavily on "Drain The Swamp" he's turned out to be one of its chief enablers.

    Like most of these misguided policies I expect it to do a lot more harm than good. China has long passed the threshold where its so dependent on our goodwill and largesse that it will roll over and play dead on command. Sure, restricting exports may inconvenience them for a spell but anyone who understands how global supply chains work knows that a lot of the time they're buying stuff from us not because they have to but because it makes good business sense. Alter the equation a bit just means that purchasing decisions change. Our response is, as it was back then, to try to bully the rest of the world into conforming to our diktat, interfering in their trade and business as if it is our right and using our leverage over the global financial system -- the threat of expropriation -- to force our will on others. This isn't really a good way to Make Friends and Influence People, in fact I'd suggest that its days are numbered (and with it ours are, too, if we're not careful).

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Another View of Somewhere Else Not So Very Far Away. Does it Impinge and Entangle here?

    Another thorn in the side of transpacific collegiality is China's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, prompting Trump to repeatedly call the pathogen a "Chinese virus" in briefings and social media.

    Hmmm? Crikey, Batman ...... who'd have a'thunk it? Uncle Sam jumping the gun and the shark and behind the curves and catastrophic ripples ahead? ....... Crimson Contagion... October 2019

    What an unfortunate coincidence there are so many similarities in the current real life global pandemic emergency just as was expected in the functional exercise.

    The Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise scenario was based on a novel influenza A(H7N9) virus that originates in China and is antigenically distinct (not matched ) from stockpiled vaccines.

    The scenario starts off with tourists becoming ill in China with non-severe acute respiratory illness and then departing the Lhasa airport to other cities in China before flying back to their respective countries. During their flights home, additional tour group members, who were not ill when they embarked on their return flights from China, begin to experience the onset of respiratory symptoms and some develop fever. Figure 3 below shows how the virus begins to spread around the world, as the ill tourists fly back to their countries of origin.

    The virus rapidly spreads via human-to-human transmission around the world and to the continental U.S., where the virus is first detected in Chicago, Illinois. The virus continues to spread to other metropolitan areas across the U.S. Figure 4 below shows the extent of the outbreak across the U.S. at the start of the exercise.

    Conduct of the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise began 47 days after the identification of the first case of H7N9 in the U.S. By this point in the scenario, the HHS Secretary has declared a national public health emergency and the World Health Organization has declared an influenza pandemic — the 2019 Influenza Pandemic. The federal government has decided to use stockpiled H7N9 vaccines as a priming dose for selected persons at high risk of complications from influenza and designated critical work force groups, but vaccination has not yet been implemented.

    Figure 5 depicts the epidemiological curve associated with the outbreak. During the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise, the H7N9 virus is in the “ acceleration phase”,the phase during which the number of cases consistently increases. Figure 6 depicts the virus' high transmissibility and clinical severity, resulting in high-morbidity, and how the H7N9 pandemic compares to other historical pandemics. In the exercise scenario, forecasts give a 90 % chance that the pandemic will be of very high severity, with 110 million forecasted illnesses, 7.7 million forecasted hospitalizations, and 586,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.

    Who needs novel enemies whenever weak elite executive back office administrations are so invested and infested with so many corrupt and bankrupt ne'er do well friends, apart from those perverse and subversive shadowy administrations of course. No enemies ... no wars .... no need for obscene secret military spending, easily also personally abused and misused whilst touting and dumping/pimping and pumping products and services no body really wants nor needs to buy for a peaceful coexistence.

    Surely you know War is a Racket even if you haven't read Major General Smedley Butler, United Sates Marine Corps telling you so there.

    It sure is a mad, rad, bad, sad world you create. Are y'all retarded with debilitating learning difficulties or is that restricted and confined to a chosen few pushing and pulling levers at the top of weak elite executive back office administration branched trees? And why ever would you allow that other than one admit it be just a bad madness?

  10. Tom Servo

    "China's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, prompting Trump to repeatedly call the pathogen a "Chinese virus" in briefings and social media."

    "Trump's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, prompting Trump to repeatedly call the pathogen a "Chinese virus" in briefings and social media."

    FTFY. It's Trump using his deflect/blame/look over there strategy to try and make this all China's or Obama's fault, nothing to do with me, I give myself a 10/10, 200K US deaths is a win ad nauseum.


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