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The Obama administration continues to make progress on multiple fronts on one of AIA’s key priorities: reform of the export control system.
Several interagency technology teams are reviewing the U.S. Munitions List with the intent of issuing proposed revisions for industry comment on a rolling basis. The USML inadvertently controls essentially commercial, dual-use technologies that are supposed to be controlled with fewer restrictions on the Commerce Control List. Recently, Category VII (land vehicles) of the USML was scrubbed and the administration determined that 74 percent of 12,000 items licensed in the tanks and military vehicles category would be most appropriately classified under the CCL. AIA is hopeful that review of the other categories will have similar results, significantly streamlining requests for export licenses.
In mid-May the Defense Department issued an interim version of the long-awaited 1248 Report outlining recommendations for adjusting the control of commercial satellites and related components. The interim report provides good indications that the administration would be comfortable transitioning a number of space technologies and certain full satellites to Commerce Department oversight for export once the review is completed.
On May 12, representatives from the departments of State, Defense and Commerce testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding the administration’s export control reform initiative. Congressional reaction to the list review in general and the 1248 report have been tepid. Committee members recognize the value in ensuring essentially commercial parts and components are not inappropriately controlled for export. However, they remain concerned about technology diversion, the strain on government’s ability to process list review changes and the utility of implementing the administration's proposed "single agency" to administer all technology exports.
While list reform must be managed through both administrative and legislative actions, there are significant policy and process adjustments that the administration is empowered to implement. The Defense Department is initiating a plan to adjust and consolidate its own technology security and foreign disclosure process to provide greater predictability, transparency and efficiency. The State Department has also issued a final rule outlining adjustments to the management of dual- and third-country nationals requesting access to USML technology. AIA continues to engage the administration on these and other issues to provide clarity and organize constructive feedback on their impact on industry.
AIA Source: PJ.Hart[at]aia-aerospace.org