Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Loosening of Controls on Exports Draws Fire

(Washington Times – Eli Lake)

Trade groups laud new Obama policies

The Obama administration’s overhaul of regulations aimed at loosening controls on the export of some military technology is drawing fire from groups that monitor arms proliferation but praise from trade groups.

President Obama on Tuesday announced the export-control policies in a video during the Commerce Department’s annual conference on updates to export controls. The policy seeks to streamline and standardize the licensing process for defense-related exports and create a new unified enforcement agency to crack down on violators of the export controls. [...]

Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, called the new policy a “defense industry bailout.” “The financial industry and the auto industry had their bailouts, now it is the defense industry’s turn,” he said. Mr. Milhollin also said the United States steadily relaxed arms-export controls since the end of the Cold War. “We have already reduced controls to the bone,” he said.

Mr. Milhollin said most defense technology being deregulated was developed with public money. “The lion’s share of the technology we are decontrolling has been developed with taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Milhollin said. “This is taxpayer-owned technology that the companies now want to sell to the whole world.” Read more here.