For U.S. security and competitiveness, modernize export controls

By January 13, 2010Regulations, Technology, Trade

The National Association of Manufacturers on Tuesday hosted a news briefing by members of the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, a broad coalition of business groups that support modernizing the U.S. system of export controls.

Defense News summarized the day’s news, “U.S. Firms Launch Export-Control Reform Push“:

Declaring that the Obama administration presents the best opportunity in years to overhaul export rules that limit weapons sales, 19 industry lobbying groups have relaunched a campaign for sweeping reform.

The groups want to de-emphasize the current reliance on munitions and dual-use technologies lists, and base export decisions on such factors as whether an item can be bought from another country, whether it is widely used outside of defense and whether the buyer is a trusted partner.

The 19 groups, which represent hundreds of U.S. companies from warplane manufacturers to software coders, said Jan. 12 that a review of export control regulations now underway by the Obama administration offers real hope for change.

As the Coalition explained in the news release accompanying the event:

The United States export control system has not been significantly revised in more than twenty years. The result is a system that no longer fully protects our national security, has not kept up with accelerating technological change, and does not function with the efficiency and transparency needed to keep the United States competitive in the global marketplace.The Administration’s export control review, as well as impending legislative proposals, provides an opportunity to strengthen our security and give business the clarity and guidance it needs to comply with the rules and remain competitive.

(Photo: Chris Hansen, Tech America CEO (left); Frank Vargo, vice president for international economic affairs, NAM.)

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