Tuesday, August 31, 2010

President to Announce Reforms to Export Control Lists, Licensing, Enforcement

(World Trade Interactive)

President Obama will announce Aug. 31 a “major step forward” in his efforts to “fundamentally reform the export control system,” according to a White House press release. The forthcoming changes in “what we control, how we control it, how we enforce those controls and how we manage [those] controls” will help strengthen national security by “focusing our efforts on controlling the most critical products and technologies and by enhancing the competitiveness of key U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors.”

The press release states that a broad-based interagency review of the U.S. export control system determined that it is overly complicated and contains too many redundancies. For example, the system operates under two different control lists that have fundamentally different approaches to defining controlled products and are administered by two different departments. There are also three different primary licensing agencies, each applying their own policies, leading to gaps in the system and disparate licensing requirements for nearly identical products. Enforcement is spread among a multitude of agencies with overlapping and duplicative authorities, creating redundancies and jeopardizing cases. Finally, all of these agencies operate on a number of separate information technology systems, none of which is compatible with the others or accessible to other licensing or enforcement agencies. Read more here.