- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
March 11, 2008Our nation's security and economic strength rely more than ever on modernizing the U.S. export control system, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said Tuesday. Addressing a mock hearing organized by the Aerospace States Association, Blakey said steps need to be taken to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the system and ease cooperation between the U.S. and our friends and allies. Serious delays and inconsistent decision making in processing military export authorizations have resulted in companies in other nations cutting U.S.-made goods out of their designs, Blakey said. "These problems particularly hurt small businesses in the states represented by the Aerospace States Association," Blakey said. "Companies not only face delays and unpredictability in the licensing process, but they are also confused by the rules, terrified of making a mistake and paying high costs to get help figuring out the system." The hearing featured testimony from industry, academic, government and media representatives about the need for export control modernization. In January, the administration announced a number of changes to the export control system, most of which were included in recommendations from AIA and its partners in the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness last year. The changes include a commitment to process all U.S. munitions list export licenses within 60 days barring national security or congressional notification requirements. Newly created dispute resolution mechanisms, which clarify export control policies and rules, will likely also prove beneficial, Blakey said. "It is important that the members of the Aerospace States Association familiarize themselves with this issue so they can both monitor developments and continue to demand even more improvements on behalf of the aerospace companies and employees in their states," Blakey said. "For too long, we have allowed this issue to remain an inside-the-beltway problem when its effects truly ripple across the country." ASA is made up of lieutenant governors who are seeking to expand aerospace jobs, improve U.S. competitiveness and improve aerospace workforce development through science, technology, engineering and math education initiatives.