Magazine article DISAM Journal

President Obama Orders Broad Review of Export-Control Regulations

Magazine article DISAM Journal

President Obama Orders Broad Review of Export-Control Regulations

Article excerpt

[The following article originally appeared in Defense News, 14 August 2009]

After years of battling complicated, costly and constrictive export controls with limited success, the U.S. defense industry may have found a new ally: President Barack Obama. The president has ordered a "broad-based interagency" review of U.S. export control regulations, including those that govern dual-use and defense items, the White House announced August 13, 2009.

   The aim of the review is to consider reforms to the system to
   enhance national security, foreign policy and economic security
   interests of the United States, said a statement released by the
   White House.

"This is a very welcome development," said Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). The group has spent years pressing the Department of State (DOS), Department of Commerce (DOC), and the Congress for export control reforms. Among other things, the AIA rails about the U.S. Munitions List, which restricts the export of thousands of items. Restrictions apply to items with obvious military utility, such as ballistic missiles, but also to those that are widely available on the world market, such as rivets, wires and bolts. The list also restricts exports of technology that was originally developed for the military but now is commonly used for civilian purposes, said Remy Nathan, AIA's vice president for international affairs.

Available to Civilians

Certain GPS receivers, for example, are among the controlled items, Remy Nathan said. Although invented for military use with the Global Positioning Satellite system, such receivers now are used by civilians for the following:

* Direction finders while driving, hiking or boating

* For surveying and map-making

* For tracking individuals, vehicles, and wildlife

* For other purposes

Similarly, night vision technology invented for the military is available to civilian motorists, pilots and law enforcement agents. …

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