The Commerce of Business has issued a temporary denial order (TDO) for 180 days to three U.S. companies for the illegal export of data relating to satellite, rocket, and defense technology to China.
On June 7, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) accused three U.S.-based companies of unauthorized export of technical drawings and blueprints used to 3-D print satellite, rocket, and defense-related prototypes to China.
The three entities are Quicksilver Manufacturing Inc., Rapid Cut LLC, and U.S. Prototype Inc., all located in Wilmington, North Carolina.
“Outsourcing 3-D printing of space and defense prototypes to China harms U.S. national security,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod in a statement on June 8.
“By sending their customers’ technical drawings and blueprints to China, these companies may have saved a few bucks—but they did so at the collective expense of protecting U.S. military technology.”
According to the statement, TDOs are some of the most significant civil sanctions the BIS can issue.
The statement indicated, “Without their customers’ advance consent or knowledge, these drawings were provided to manufacturers in China to 3-D-print the items without the required U.S. Government authorizations.”
As stated in the TDO, these three entities use “the same rental mailbox.”
“The information illegally sent to China included sensitive prototype space and defense technologies,” said the BIS.
The statement also encouraged customers of the three entities to “review their records to determine whether intellectual-property or export-controlled technology was provided and/or potentially compromised.”
The BIS did not disclose the customers that have contracts with the three entities.
According to the TDO, the customers include an aerospace and global defense technology company; a manufacturer of specially designed parts intended for a rocket platform’s ground support and test equipment; and an advanced science and engineering company with multiple U.S. government contracts, including with the Department of Defense.