In his keynote speech at the US Bureau of Industry and Security Update event in Washington, DC, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has explicitly linked the US export control regime, and the Export Control Reform Act, with the US’s need to maintain its ‘strategic advantage in advanced technology’ upon which, he said, the nation’s future prosperity ‘depends’.
‘We cannot allow our most precious resource — our intellectual property —to be stolen, copied, or traded away for short-term gain. And we can no longer accept the decline of U.S. industries due to state-supported overcapacity, and the strategic — often clandestine — foreign purchases and investments in our most important technology enterprises.’
He called on US business to support the government initiatives, saying, ‘In the current increasingly risky national security environment, the private sector must act responsibly, and protect technologies with national security ramifications,’ and expressed his gratitude to the representatives of business in the room for ‘helping us to defend our national interests with the least damage necessary to your short-term revenues.’
‘Your continued cooperation,’ he said, ‘proves that you are patriots at heart.’
The Commerce Department, he said, was in the process of establishing an Emerging Technology Technical Advisory Committee to ‘help review [emerging and foundational technologies].
‘Members of this Committee will be announced soon, and they will get to work immediately to help modernize our controls on important technologies.’
Ross said that since the start of 2017, BIS had initiated 2,284 export control investigations, ‘a 21 percent increase in the number of cases opened from the previous two-and-a-half years.’