The Aerospace Industries Association applauds Congress for moving to end the draconian over-regulation of commercial satellite exports. The fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act would return authority to the president to determine appropriate export control requirements for commercial satellites and related technologies after years of mandating the imposition of inflexible, military-level controls.
“Even if you don’t factor in the threat of sequestration, our space industrial base faces an immediate 22 percent reduction in the national security space budget next year,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “Ending this self-imposed burden on U.S. competitiveness in the global commercial satellite marketplace is critical to our national security and to ensuring the U.S. space industrial base stays second to none.”
AIA’s report, “Competing for Space: Satellite Export Policy and U.S. National Security,” outlines the devastating impact military-level export controls have had on the U.S. space industrial base since they were imposed by Congress in 1999, particularly the drop in U.S. share of global satellite manufacturing from 65 percent to as low as 30 percent. The report estimates that U.S. manufacturers lost $21 billion in satellite revenue from 1999 to 2009, costing about 9,000 direct jobs annually. These companies, many of them small- and medium-sized enterprises, can only remain in business and sustain our country’s technological edge in space by accessing legitimate commercial markets.
AIA is committed to an overall export control environment that safeguards our national security but is also predictable, efficient and transparent. This legislation would free the administration to treat commercial satellite technology like all other regulated technology and propose appropriate adjustments to requirements for export. We strongly urge passage of the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act and hope for quick signature by President Obama. We appreciate the bipartisan efforts of Congress and the administration to take this important step in the ongoing process to reform the U.S. export control system.