AI And Trade Controls: A Guide To Expanding Restrictions

In recent months, the Chinese government announced purchasing rules for government PCs and servers that restrict the use of certain U.S. chips, and provided a list of safe and reliable processors from Chinese companies.

The growing tensions between China and the U.S. in the artificial intelligence and semiconductor industries are indicative of the likely continued expansion of cross-border restrictions. Notably, when it comes to the intersection between AI and U.S. export controls and sanctions — collectively, U.S. trade controls — the applicable restrictions and regulations do not directly target AI platforms and capabilities based on their AI-specific capabilities. Instead, they generally target high-performance hardware, software and technology — collectively, items — that enable AI capabilities, e.g., advanced computing integrated circuits such as graphic processing units and the technology to develop or produce said integrated circuits.

In this Law360 Expert Insights article, authors Josh Gelula, Tyra Walker, and Mark Brennan discuss how organizations looking to assess compliance with U.S. trade controls affecting AI should carefully consider the export classification of the items they design, produce or procure, as well as the intended end use when destined for certain countries.

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