The rekindled tariff warfare between the U.S. and China isn’t the only thing standing in the way of the world’s two largest economies’ hopes to find peace of mind.
After a fresh round of tariff hikes on hundreds of billions of each other’s products over the weekend, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday that it would add six Chinese firms, along with one company based in Pakistan and five in the United Arab Emirates, to its Bureau of Industry and Security’s “Entity List,” a black list of foreign companies prohibited from exporting certain U.S. technology and goods due to national security concerns unless they meet specific licensing requirements.
In a press release, the Commerce Department said four of the named Chinese firms attempted to procure American commodities that would have supported Iran’s weapons of mass destruction and military programs in violation of U.S. export controls.
The other two Chinese firms were believed to have imported America’s controlled technology and then supplied it to organizations affiliated with China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The six banned Chinese entities include four electronic components distributors based in Shenzhen (Multi-Mart Electronics, Yutron Technology, Tenco Technology and Avin Electronics Technology); Zhejiang-based Longkui Qu, a trading company specializing in pharmaceutical ingredients; and also Zhejiang-based CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology, a company alleged to be the benefactor in an economic espionage case brought up by the U.S. Justice Department last April.
“We are putting individuals, businesses and organizations across the world on notice that they will be held accountable for supporting Iran’s WMD activities and other illicit schemes,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “Moreover, we cannot allow China’s civil-military integration strategy to undermine U.S. national security through prohibited technology transfer plots orchestrated by state actors.”
The Commerce Department’s announcement came just a day after Beijing said it would impose fresh tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods effective June 1 in retaliation for Washington’s decision last week to raise existing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent.
The tariff hikes rattled global markets over the weekend, with the Chinese stock markets tumbling first last week, and the Dow Jones and S&P 500 sliding on Monday.