U.S. urges Biden to restrict sales of chip-making tools to China

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April 15- Congressional China hawks are urging the Biden administration to restrict the sale of chip-making tools to Chinese companies, similar to an action taken against telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies Co.

In a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the US-based legislator Michael McCaul and senator Tom Cotton said that the rule that requires U.S. licenses to sell semiconductors made abroad with U.S. technology to Huawei should apply to any Chinese company designing more advanced chips at 14 nanometers or below.

The letter, which is dated April 13 and was made public on Thursday, seeks licenses for the sale of electronic design automation software, among other problems on chip-related sales to Chinese companies.

The actions would ensure that US companies as well as those from partners and allied countries are not permitted to sell the communists the rope they will use to hang us all, said the letter.

A Commerce Department representative, acknowledging receipt of the letter, noted that seven Chinese supercomputers were placed on a trade blacklist last week.

The agency is continually reviewing circumstances in order to determine whether additional actions are warranted, said the person.

Last year, the United States issued a rule requiring licenses for sales of semiconductors to Huawei manufactured overseas with U.S. chipmaking equipment, expanding its reach to stop exports to the company.

In 2019 Huawei was added to the Commerce Department list over foreign policy concerns and national security concerns.

The blacklisting restricted sales to Huawei from foreign suppliers but did not crack down on commercially available chips made in the United States. In response, the United States expanded the Foreign Direct Product Rule, which applies for Huawei and foreign-made goods based on U.S. technology or software regulated under federal laws.

This week's letter was sent to Tianjin Phytium Information Technology and six other Chinese supercomputing entities on the list of Chinese entities for supporting military modernization efforts.

Cotton and McCaul want not only to restrict US sales of phytium, but also require a license for any company that uses American tools to make a Phytium-designed semiconductor chip.

Anything that they would say would be a forceful measure masquerading as a second action, they said.

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