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NFTC and CEE Critical of Advisory Committee Report on Deemed Exports
Date: 2/15/2008

Twelve Leading Business Organizations Cite Concerns in Letter to Commerce Secretary

Washington, DC – In a letter sent today to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), the Coalition for Employment through Exports (CEE), and ten other leading business organizations questioned the practicality of recent recommendations made by the Deemed Export Advisory Committee (DEAC), and warned of the significant negative impact on U.S. technological leadership if the recommendations were to be adopted.

The organizations agreed with DEAC report findings regarding the difficulty of controlling the global flow of technological knowledge, particularly through the use of unilateral U.S. export control regulations. The organizations also endorsed the report's call for limiting the scope of deemed exports but criticized DEAC for a lack of guidance in addressing either of these issues.

The letter to Secretary Guttierrez stated: "While the DEAC identified several specific technologies as examples for continued controls, it did not make comprehensive recommendations for narrowing the list of dual-use technologies, or for criteria for revising the control list. Without such guidance, the interagency process is unlikely to make any significant reduction in the scope of technologies covered."

The letter also expressed concerns that more foreign nationals would be subject to deemed export controls and loyalty tests, stating: "The DEAC's suggested criteria for clearing foreign nationals would amount to processing Top Secret security clearances for thousands of foreign nationals, a procedure that takes months for U.S. citizens and that has been backlogged for several years."

The letter continued: "If the current scope of controlled technologies were maintained and the number of foreign nationals subject to licensing were expanded, the annual volume of deemed export license applications would immediately rise from the current 900-1000 to many thousands, far surpassing the government's resources to process them… The inevitable logjam in license processing combined with increased denials of licenses for nationals of a larger number of countries would accelerate the shift overseas of industrial technology research and development."

The letter concluded by urging the Commerce Department to "go back to the drawing board and work closely with industry in developing an approach that will produce a more balanced result."
For a copy of the letter, visit www.nftc.org/default/VISA/DEAC Letter.pdf

The letter was signed by:
•AeA
•American Council on International Personnel
•AMT - Association for Manufacturing Technology
•Coalition for Employment Through Exports
•Computer Coalition for Responsible Exports
•Computer and Communications Industry Association
•Emergency Committee for American Trade
•Information Technology Industry Council
•International Safety Equipment Association
•National Council on International Trade Development
•National Foreign Trade Council
•U.S.-China Business Council


Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.