US Control over Technology Transfer International Channels: Challenges, Mechanisms, Trends

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-7-89-97
E. Kirichenko (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMIMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Received 08.02.2021.

Abstract. With the end of World War II, the United States is constantly fighting for global technological leadership, claiming a dominant position in this area. Control over international technology transfer channels is seen by the United States as an essential mechanism for maintaining this leadership. The article identifies three “waves” of tightening control over technology transfer in the context of maintaining national security: the cold war period, the 80s in response to the unfolding competition with Japan, and the modern stage. Within each stage, the author examines the main challenges to American technological dominance, control mechanisms, and trends in control policy. The development of technology transfer controls in the United States is currently undergoing another cycle of tightening. In the US export control regime, the role of embargoes and sanctions has again increased. The extraterritorial use of the punitive apparatus has expanded, and the language of ultimatums has become more common. Control over investment transactions is tightening. Mechanisms for controlling technology transfer within the United States are being improved. The US is looking for an enemy. In the National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies, China and Russia are considered as the main strategic competitors. It is argued that both states have a vital interest in American technology and use all possible means to obtain it. Nevertheless, China has become the No. 1 enemy for the Trump administration. The technological war between the United States and China most clearly reflects the methods of struggle for global leadership. Perhaps the actions of the new American administration will become less impulsive, it will change the focus in this struggle, but will not abandon it. Control over international technology transfer channels will continue to be in demand and will be improved. 

Keywords: technological leadership, national security, technology transfer channels, technologies, intangible technologies, critical technologies, export control, Foreign Investment Committee


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For citation:
Kirichenko E. US Control over Technology Transfer International Channels: Challenges, Mechanisms, Trends. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 7, pp. 89-97.

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