James Jay Carafano, a senior research fellow for national security at the Heritage Foundation, recalls President Reagan’s difficulties in addressing export controls and lauds President Obama for making smart, balanced reform proposals:
From The Washington Examiner, “Export controls are an issue of good governance”:
To his credit, President Obama has made a good faith effort to manage export controls in a way that is both pro-trade and pro-national security. He has proposed several major reforms that are reasonable, responsible and — at the end of the day — very practical.
First, Obama wants to have clear, consistent rules for how licensing requirements are established and managed. Second, he plans to establish an Export Enforcement Coordination Center to “coordinate and strengthen the U.S. government’s enforcement efforts — and eliminate gaps and duplication — across all relevant departments and agencies.”
Third, he wants to create a common, government-wide information technology system to manage export controls.
The challenge will be to overcome entrenched political and institutional opposition, Carafano writes. Bureaucratic maneuvering can be anticipated, to be sure. Administration of export controls now rests with the State Department, Defense and Commerce. Still, the agencies have so far been willing to work in good faith toward a necessary modernization of the controls.
See also the National Association of Manufacturers’ statement from Aug. 30, “Manufacturers Support Efforts to Modernize Export Controls.”
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