NEW YORK -- The U.S. Commerce Department said Monday that it will add 12 foreign organizations and individuals, including six Chinese companies, to its list of entities to which it has in effect banned exports of sensitive American technologies.
"We cannot allow China's civil-military integration strategy to undermine U.S. national security through prohibited technology transfer plots orchestrated by state actors," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a news release. "This designation complements criminal actions [the department's Bureau of Industry and Security] and the Department of Justice are taking to penalize the theft of controlled U.S. technology."
The six Chinese companies are Avin Electronics Technology, Multi-Mart Electronics Technology, Tenco Technology, Yutron Technology, Longkui Qu, and Taizhou CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology.
The first four have locations in both mainland China and Hong Kong and "have been attempting to procure U.S.-origin commodities that would ultimately provide material support to Iran's weapons of mass destruction and military programs, in violation of U.S. export controls," the bureau said in a draft rule posted for public inspection on the Federal Register website ahead of its Tuesday publication.
The other two Chinese companies "participated in the prohibited export of controlled technology, which was then supplied to organizations affiliated with the People's Liberation Army," the news release said. The draft rule identified this as syntactic foam and technology concerning its production.
The six non-Chinese additions to the list include five from the United Arab Emirates -- for such activities as not cooperating with end-user checks -- and a company in Pakistan that was flagged for aiding the country's nuclear weapons program.
This comes after recent talks failed to end the Sino-American trade war. The U.S. on Friday raised 10% duties to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese goods. President Donald Trump has also threatened tariff hikes for $325 billion more.
Also on Monday, China announced plans to further increase duties on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports to as much as 25%, starting June 1. The tariffs will affect such goods as liquefied natural gas, honey, industrial tools and furniture.
The escalating trade war has sent shock waves throughout the global market. The Dow Industrial Average had lost well over 600 points at one point Monday morning.