BIS Update Conference Standing Room Only


The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security 2024 Update Conference kicked off Wednesday to a full house in Washington, with over 1,100 attendees registered and many breakout sessions extended to overflow rooms with video feeds.

While Commerce Secretary Gina Raimonda was unable to attend in person, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez greeted attendees with a recap of the work undertaken since the last conference in 2022, and insights on where things are headed. 

"We are cranking folks," Mr. Estevez told the  audience.  "As is often the case, things happen gradually—then seemingly all at once. That is the story of the past few years."

"We are asking the private sector to step up more than it has, and even if you have not heard from us directly, we need you to be part of the solution.

"Traditional due diligence is not sufficient—especially if your company or your clients have complicated distribution networks. Government and industry both need to show a commitment at the highest levels and continue to devote resources to detecting red flags, vetting intermediaries, tracking controlled product, and sharing information and best practices.

"I want to be clear: Export controls are a national security tool, not an economic protectionist tool. BIS has been called upon to apply export controls on items that the PRC is seeking to obtain in order to advance its military modernization and its human rights abuses. 

"Military advantage is now being sought through advanced computing power—supercomputers that can manage and manipulate vast amounts of data, artificial intelligence (AI) that speeds military decision-making, and a host of other activities that rely on certain advanced chips and the ability to make or obtain them.

"The Department of Commerce employs an “offense/defense” approach—BIS’s work is the defense. The offense is the Department’s work, led by other bureaus, to implement the CHIPS and Science Act and a host of other laws, which will ensure that U.S. technological leadership continues to advance and that the benefits of this advancement are widely distributed across our nation 


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