What happened: A new bill announced by US Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) would restrict the export of various emerging technologies to China, making it more difficult for companies to do business in the world’s second-largest economy. The bill is focused on limiting China’s military development, its “ability to violate human rights,” tech that will lead to the “excessive drain of scarce materials” from the US, and any technology that belongs to an industry “influencing artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing and robotics.”
Why it’s important: The Trump administration’s current trade deal has included negotiations for better IP protections, but this wide-spanning proposal could put US companies on the chopping block instead of sparking a new manufacturing boom that Sen. Hawley seems to be hoping for. The race for tech superiority is nothing new between the two competing superpowers, though a law like this one has the potential to exacerbate a culture of secrecy at a time when technologies like AI and quantum computing are still in their early stages of development.
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