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The U.S. cracked down on three American firms for exporting military defense and other technology to China on Thursday.
The U.S. Commerce Department says the three companies, Quicksilver Manufacturing Inc, Rapid Cut LLC and U.S. Prototype Inc., received blueprints for satellite, rocket and defense prototypes from U.S. companies, but then sent those blueprints to Chinese companies for 3-D printing, Reuters reported Thursday.
“Outsourcing 3-D printing of space and defense prototypes to China harms U.S. national security,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod said in a statement.
“By sending their customers’ technical drawings and blueprints to China, these companies may have saved a few bucks, but they did so at the collective expense of protecting U.S. military technology.”
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The U.S. government has suspended the three companies’ export privileges for 180 days.
The U.S. has long struggled to contain leaks of classified defense and other information to China. The Justice Department charged a group of Chinese hackers for attempting to steal U.S. COVID-19 research in 2020.
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Former President Donald Trump’s administration conducted a 2017 probe that found Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property (IP) amounted to $225-600 billion every year.