US restricts exports to Chinese semiconductor firm

US restricts exports to Chinese semiconductor firm
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The U.S. Commerce Department announced Monday that it is restricting U.S. exports to the Chinese semiconductor firm Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company, Ltd.

The firm "poses a significant risk of becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security interests of the United States," according to the department's press release.

Jinhua has been added to the department's Entity List.

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"When a foreign company engages in activity contrary to our national security interests, we will take strong action to protect our national security," Secretary of Commerce Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Group sues Trump administration for info related to 'attempts to politicize NOAA' NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet MORE said in Monday's statement. "Placing Jinhua on the Entity List will limit its ability to threaten the supply chain for essential components in our military systems.”

Through its use of what is likely American technology, Jinhua "is nearing completion of substantial production capacity for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) integrated circuits,"  the release charges.

"The additional production, in light of the likely U.S.-origin technology, threatens the long term economic viability of U.S. suppliers of these essential components of U.S. military systems."

Now that Jinhua has been added to the Entity List, any exports or transfers to Jinhua will have to be licensed.

Tensions have been relatively high between China and the U.S. in recent weeks and the U.S. has added multiple other Chinese companies to the Entity List this year.

The U.S. sent two warships through the Straight of Taiwan last week after a Chinese destroyer  reportedly aggressively maneuvered towards a U.S. ship in disputed waters earlier this month.

Earlier this month, Beijing canceled a meeting with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Trump needs a national security adviser who 'speaks softly' US could deploy 150 troops to Syria: report MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE accused China of meddling in the 2018 midterm elections, which China has denied.

Economically, the two countries have been locked in a tense trade war, with each country slapping the other with escalating tariffs.