Biden on track to apply Trump-era rule targeting Chinese tech supply chain concerns

Business Roundtable said earlier that the proposal is "unworkable for US businesses in its current form". PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Biden administration plans to allow a Trump-era rule targeting Chinese technology firms deemed to pose a threat to the United States to go into effect despite objections from US businesses, the US Commerce Department said on Friday (Feb 26).

The department issued an interim final rule in the final days of the Trump administration aimed at addressing information and communications technology supply chain concerns and said it would become effective after a 60-day period of public comment.

On Friday, a Commerce spokesman said in a statement the department would continue to accept public comment on the rule until March 22, when it would go into effect.

"Trustworthy information and communications technology and services are essential to our national and economic security and remains a top priority for the Biden Harris administration," the statement said.

The US Chamber of Commerce and groups representing major industries raised concerns in a letter to the Commerce Department in January that the interim rule gave it "nearly unlimited authority to intervene in virtually any commercial transaction between US companies and their foreign counterparts that involves technology, with little to no due process, accountability, transparency, or coordination with other government programs."

Business Roundtable, a group representing major US chief executives, said earlier the proposal is "unworkable for US businesses in its current form." The Wall Street Journal first reported the Biden administration's plans.

As the Commerce Department is still accepting public comments, it may still revise the rule based on objections from businesses and others.

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