The United States has cracked down on high-technology exports to China that could aide its military in the creation of new technologies.

Despite affecting some of the US’s largest exporters, from Boeing to Sun Microsystems, the government introduced strict licensing rules and controls on the export of technologies including aircraft and aircraft engines, underwater cameras and propulsion systems, certain composition materials, lasers, inertial navigation systems and more.

US Commerce Secretary Carlos M Gutierrez says the new rules, which hit trade at a time when the US trade deficit is soaring, are designed to make sure only trusted sources receive such technologies.

“This rule strikes the right balance in our complex relationship with China,” Gutierrez says. “It is a common-sense approach that will make it easier for US companies to sell to pre-screened civilian customers in China, while at the same time denying access to US technology that would contribute to China’s military.”

The US Government will allow some companies to continue purchasing banned items under strict licensing requirements.