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January 12, 2009 

BIS Working to Finalize China VEU Inspection Agreement

Bloomberg reported this afternoon that the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the Government of the People's Republic of China are making a last ditch effort to finalize an agreement that would allow the China Validated End-User (VEU) program to continue by permitting BIS officials to conduct on-site inspections in China.

The Washington Times reported last month that BIS was close to issuing a new regulation that would suspend the China VEU program until China agrees to on-site inspections of the five Chinese companies that have been granted VEU status. That regulation has not yet been issued.

Under Secretary of Commerce Mario Mancuso responded to the Washington Times report by saying that "the lack of an agreement diminishes VEU’s trade enhancing benefits, and Commerce is evaluating all options related to the program for China, including suspension."

In October 2008, the Government Accountability Office recommended that the Secretary of Commerce suspend the VEU program until BIS was permitted to conduct on-site reviews in China to ensure that the items shipped to the VEUs in China are used as intended.

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