Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Slow Road to Export Reform

(Lexology – John R. Liebman and Andrea Prohaska, McKenna Long & Aldridge)

It has been widely recognized for decades that U.S. export controls are in disrepair. Congress’ failure to reauthorize the law underpinning the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) has resulted in frail, disjointed authority to regulate dual-use items. Poor coordination between the U.S. State and Commerce Departments has created confusion over which agency has jurisdiction over what products; and overly stringent regulation of commercial items has stunted business and has arguably distracted from effective regulation of key military technologies. Yet, despite several past attempts at reform, including legislative initiatives beginning in the early ‘80s and President Clinton’s efforts to overhaul the system in the mid-’90s, we have made only marginal improvements. The repeated failure to successfully implement broad based reform has placed U.S. exporters at an increasing disadvantage in a world where cutting edge technologies are no longer the exclusive province of U.S. industry and many traditional foreign customers are turning to non-U.S. sources to avoid stifling export regulation issues. Read more here.