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Leading Business Groups Issue Principles and Objectives for Export Control Modernization
Date: 10/2/2009
Written By: William A. Reinsch, NFTC, 202-887-0278

Washington, DC – The Coalition for Security and Competitiveness (CSC) today sent key Administration officials a set of principles and implementation objectives to guide the modernization of the U.S. export control system in ways that enhance both national security and U.S. competitiveness. In response to the President's August announcement, the Coalition sent a letter addressed to National Security Advisor James Jones and National Economic Advisor Lawrence Summers, which laid out their vision for an effective technology control regime for the 21st century.

"We believe changes must be made to the current system to make sure it is aligned with our current security needs and the realities of the global technological environment, and – as a practical matter – operates in a more predictable, transparent, and efficient manner," the Coalition stated in the letter, which was also sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.

In their principles for reform, the Coalition recommended that modernization of U.S. export controls should achieve the following:
  • Prevent proliferation of, and access to, our most sensitive and militarily critical technologies by current and potential adversaries;
  • Promote defense cooperation, foreign sales, and interoperability with U.S. partners and allies, consistent with U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives;
  • Support U.S. technological and scientific leadership, while leveraging the benefits of foreign technological innovation; and
  • Strengthen U.S. competitiveness in global technology markets and preserve a cutting-edge industrial base, including a highly-skilled workforce
In addition to outlining principles for modernization, the Coalition also released a set of implementation objectives, which call for developing clear policy criteria and effective decision-making processes for identifying critical technologies whose protection is essential to U.S national security; implementing more efficient approaches to licensing in support of defense and national security programs important to the U.S. government; minimizing controls on items readily available in the global marketplace; rationalizing the export licensing system to reduce costs and administrative process times by ensuring clear lines of agency jurisdiction; and promoting a more effective system of multilateral controls through greater harmonization of controls with key trading partners, among other recommendations.

The letter was sent on behalf of the Coalition's member associations, which include the Aerospace Industries Association, the Association of American Exporters and Importers, The American League for Exports and Security Assistance, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology, Business Roundtable, the Coalition for Employment Through Exports, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Industrial Fasteners Institute, the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Defense Industrial Association, the National Foreign Trade Council, the Satellite Industry Association, the Space Enterprise Council, the Space Foundation, TechAmerica and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

With regard to next steps, the Coalition has requested an opportunity to brief the NSC/NEC interagency team to provide detailed recommendations that build upon the principles outlined above.

For the full letter, set of principles and implementing objectives, please click here.

About the Coalition
The Coalition for Security and Competitiveness was launched on March 6, 2007, with the forwarding to the U.S. government of recommendations for enhancing U.S. security and competitiveness through modernization of the export control system. The Coalition seeks to modernize the export control system so that America is prepared to meet the security and economic challenges of the 21st century. More information about the Coalition can be found online at