“WASHINGTON — In an unusual letter signed by three U.S. cabinet secretaries, the Bush administration urged China to drop a regulation that would limit the import of wireless technologies ranging from pagers to laptop computers.”
“In the letter, delivered to senior Chinese officials late Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Commerce Secretary Don Evans and Trade Representative Robert Zoellick say the law would pose a serious barrier to international trade and should be dropped, according to officials briefed on its contents.
China, which defends the regulation as important for national security, is the only country in the 146-member World Trade Organization to make such a rule. The law mandates that all foreign electronics and microchip producers use a Chinese-designed encryption technology that has so far been licensed to just 24 Chinese distributors.
U.S. high-tech companies say the rule would require foreign companies to co-produce with, and transfer technology to, Chinese partners. The rule has come under fire both as a trade barrier and as a move by China to exert pressure on foreign companies to share technology secrets.”