Three US companies—Quicksilver Manufacturing Inc, Rapid Cut LLC, and U.S. Prototype Inc—have been caught shipping technical drawings and blueprints for satellite, rocket, and defense prototypes to the People’s Republic of China, ostensibly for their cheaper 3-D printing capabilities. As a result,
Commerce Department on Wednesday suspended the export privileges of [the] three…for 180 days….
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod:
Outsourcing 3-D printing of space and defense prototypes to China harms US national security.
By sending their customers’ technical drawings and blueprints to [the People’s Republic of China], these companies may have saved a few bucks, but they did so at the collective expense of protecting US military technology.
A [Quicksilver] company employee signed a non-disclosure agreement, which included that the work be conducted in compliance with US export control regulations, the [production order from an unnamed US aerospace and global defense technology company] said. Those regulations required licenses that likely would have been denied.
But Quicksilver fulfilled the order that August without seeking a license, and included an invoice that indicated the products had been shipped from China[.]
The companies’ export “privileges” have been suspended for a whole six months.
How is Quicksilver’s behavior in particular not espionage? Why is Quicksilver in particular still in business?