By Casey Harper, D.C. Bureau Reporter, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday to ban certain kinds of tech investment mainly in China, citing national security concerns. China has stolen U.S. intellectual property for years, in part through U.S. tech investment and manufacturing in the country.
Biden called the situation a national emergency, saying that crucial technology and sensitive military information is at risk.
“I find that countries of concern are engaged in comprehensive, long-term strategies that direct, facilitate, or otherwise support advancements in sensitive technologies and products that are critical to such countries’ military, intelligence, surveillance, or cyber-enabled capabilities,” Biden said in a letter to Congress Wednesday.
The executive order, called the “Executive Order on Addressing United States Investments in Certain National Security Technologies and Products in Countries of Concern,” is aimed largely at China and points out that the nation has little barrier between its companies and the country’s communist government, which is a rival of the U.S.
“Rapid advancement in semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence capabilities by these countries significantly enhances their ability to conduct activities that threaten the national security of the United States,” the order said.
Biden directed the U.S. Treasury Department to create regulations requiring Americans to stop certain transactions and report others that may violate the new rules. Federal rulemaking takes time, and the regulation would likely not be implemented until at least next year.
Those regulations will not outright ban all investment, but will significantly narrow and regulate the investment, in particular regarding “semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence capabilities.”
The order says that the technology and innovation provided to foreign rivals could give them an edge that is used against the U.S.
Biden has also emphasized domestic chip production since taking office.
“Advancements in sensitive technologies and products in these sectors will accelerate the development of advanced computational capabilities that will enable new applications that pose significant national security risks, such as the development of more sophisticated weapons systems, breaking of cryptographic codes, and other applications that could provide these countries with military advantages,” the order said.