By Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday appointed Alan Estevez, a former Pentagon official, as undersecretary of state for the US Department of Commerce for Industry and Security, a key role in the US-China technology battle.

The post in the Department of Commerce’s once-obscure Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has drawn attention in recent years as Washington escalated its export controls to deter China from getting US technology.

During the Trump administration, the office restricted U.S. sales to China-based Huawei Technologies. This hampered the world’s largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and gave BIS a prominent role in efforts to restrict Chinese companies in telecommunications infrastructure for reasons of national security.

Estevez, now an executive at Deloitte Consulting, had a 36-year career with the Department of Defense. During the Obama administration he represented the department in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), …

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