U.S. – Export Reform Agenda

July 6, 2010 at 8:13 am

The Obama administration maintains an “aggressive” export control reform agenda, and plans to have much of the new regulatory framework in place by the end of the year, a senior official told members of the Aerospace Industries Association on Wednesday. The reform, announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on April 20, marks the biggest change in more than 30 years to how the federal government keeps certain U.S.-made technologies out of the hands of overseas adversaries.

“The bottom-line is that the world has changed dramatically,” said. Gen. James L. Jones, national security advisor. “Procurement patterns have changed, markets have changed, the threats we face are different, and the economy is global. “What has not changed, however, is the basic structure and premise for our export control process,” he said.

Jones explained that over the years the United States has attempted to respond to changes in export controls with a “patchwork” of fixes. “As a result, our system today is made up of a number of antiquated systems cobbled together over time, leaving us with a seriously fractured overall approach to export controls,” he said. The administration will conduct its export control reform in three phases.

In the first phase, which is underway, the government has developed criteria to form a tiered control list structure, with the “crown jewels” and weapons of mass destruction in the top tier and then “cascading down the tiers as the technology or product cycle matures,” Jones said. He said the tiered process would help the government prioritize how it processes license applications. “All items are not equal, yet our current licensing processes are very much like a production line, each license application processed in the order it is received,” Jones said.

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Source: C. Gillis, American Shipper – East Coast Connection, July 1, 2010

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