Biden Taps Ex-Defense Official for Key Post on China Tech Policy

President Joe Biden will nominate a Deloitte LLP logistics consultant and former Defense Department official to lead a Commerce Department agency that’s a key player in the administration’s strategy to limit China’s access to cutting-edge technology.

Alan Estevez is Biden’s pick as undersecretary to lead the Bureau of Industry and Security that oversees export control, the White House announced Tuesday. The position is subject to Senate confirmation.

Biden Taps Ex-Defense Official for Key Post on China Tech Policy

The BIS is in charge of the so-called entity list. U.S. firms are required to obtain government licenses if they want to sell American tech and intellectual property to businesses on the list.

The Trump administration used export controls, prohibitions and executive orders to block companies including Huawei Technologies Co., chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Tencent Holdings Ltd. from American goods and consumers. Now, it’s up to Biden whether to maintain, remove or deepen those measures.

While Biden has criticized Trump’s strategy and promised to work with global allies to confront China on issues including intellectual-property theft, he’s also kept in place tariffs on more than $300 billion in annual imports, taking time to review U.S. policy.

Estevez joined Deloitte in 2017 after more than three decades with the Department of Defense. His work included representing the department on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, which vets foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies for national-security risks.

In 2013, then-President Barack Obama appointed Estevez as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics. In that role he led support to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while also managing efforts around Hurricane Sandy and Ebola in West Africa.

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