The Company on the Heart of America’s Tech Combat With China
“When you start cutting off capital gains that can flow into research and development, many of which come from the vast Chinese market, you are really undermining our ability to stay at the forefront of semiconductor innovation,” Neuffer said.
“The sense of urgency over the past few years has led our leadership to make decisions without referring to industry opinion,” said Daniel H. Rosen, founding partner of the Rhodium Group. “We will not serve American interests unless we consider commercial interests and national security interests at the same time.”
The Biden administration has already got into the political minefield around the office. In her January confirmation hearing, Gina Raimondo, the new Secretary of Commerce, was criticized by Republicans for refusing to keep Huawei on the office’s entity list. Ms. Raimondo later said that she would “take full advantage” of the entity list and that Huawei and ZTE should be on the list.
With Ms. Raimondo sworn in to her post this month, the Biden government is considering candidates to head the Bureau of Industry and Security. It has become a controversial process, a sort of proxy battle between trade advisors, industry groups, and lawmakers from both parties over the future of America’s technology strategy.
An early contender, Kevin Wolf, a partner in the Akin Gump law firm’s international trade group, has encountered opposition from some China hawks in Washington because of his industry ties. Mr. Wolf, who was previously the deputy secretary in the office, imposed the sanctions on ZTE. He has consistently argued that unclear and unpredictable restrictions can backfire “which is exactly what harms the interests they are designed to protect”.
However, since leaving government, critics have found flaws in his work for the industry, including advising clients on what is allowed under Mr Trump’s regulations and trying to get licenses for his clients to supply products to Huawei and others Get SMIC
Mr Wolf said he was merely helping companies understand the new rules, as other export control lawyers do, and that it was the Trump administration responsible for creating a new process to get companies licensed to supply products to be issued to listed companies.