Resolution to Reform Export Control Regulation of Dual-Use and Defense Items
Current regulations constrain US business from competing globally, create friction with trusted allies who have to negotiate our cumbersome export controls regulatory system and do not effectively prevent sensitive technology from reaching potential adversaries. In the near term, US defense spending is likely to decline, compelling companies to rely more heavily on exports in order to maintain the investment levels in research and development necessary to keep our technology at the cutting edge. This resolution applauds the priority that the current Administration has placed on this issue as well as its ongoing efforts to conduct a comprehensive review and improvement of the export control system.
Whereas, our current export control regulations handicap American business from competing globally; and
Whereas, efforts to tighten technology transfer regulations have not prevented other countries from acquiring and/or recreating American military and dual-use technologies but have crippled industries such as our commercial satellite industry; and
Whereas, the visa controls associated with our export control regulations have restricted and discouraged the foreign talent necessary to maintain America’s competitive edge in defense technology; and
Whereas, in a departure from the Cold War years, the majority of our military technologies are adaptations of commercial technologies and commercial components are increasingly part of military systems; and
Whereas, creating a regulatory environment leading to the failure of American defense firms could force the U.S. to rely on foreign vendors, which could negatively impact our nation’s security and increase costs to the U.S. Government; and
Whereas, the U.S. aerospace and defense industries are a powerful economic engine that according to the Aerospace Industries Association, contributed $87 billion in export sales in 2011, directly employs 624,000 Americans and indirectly supports 700,000 jobs in related fields; and
Whereas, aerospace brings in the biggest foreign trade surplus of any manufacturing sector; and
Whereas, it is critical that we maintain interoperability with those partners who are engaged with us in current conflicts and our restrictive export control policies impede interoperability maintenance; and
Whereas, the confusion about which potentially controlled items fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of State or the Department of Commerce can have serious economic and national security consequences;
Therefore be it resolved that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] applauds the current Administration’s ongoing efforts to conduct a comprehensive review of the export control system to improve U.S. defense industry opportunities while still protecting critical U.S. military technology; and
Be it further resolved that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] encourages the House Foreign Affairs Committee to follow through with plans to introduce an updated and modernized Export Administration Act; and
Be it further resolved that any legislation should instruct regulatory agencies to focus on regulatory efforts on protection of current and future national security rather than on original or historical use of an item or technology; and
Be it further resolved that any legislation should include the simplification and rationalization of export control regulation envisioned in the recommendations of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; and
Be it further resolved that any legislation should embrace the efforts of the Departments of Defense, State and Commerce to emphasize the destination and retransfer of items and technology rather than unnecessarily restricting trade with allies and trusted nations through excessive focus on categorization of items and technology; and
Be it further resolved that any legislation emphasize using the export control system as a tool of statecraft to assist in enhancing the export controls and infrastructure of allies while building strategic partnerships; and
Be it further resolved that any legislation should bring order and rationality to the export licensing system to expedite and remove barriers to licenses for trusted allies; and
Be it further resolved that final legislation address the issues unique to the satellite industry, which was seriously weakened when satellite components and parts were placed on the U.S. Munitions List and made subject to ITAR.
Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on October 16, 2012.