Original Press Release
NAM Welcomes President's Review of Export Control System
Press release date: August 14, 2009
"Existing System Restricts Too Many Technologies," Vargo Says
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 14, 2009 --National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President for International Economic Affairs Frank Vargo today issued the following statement in response to the President's decision to launch a broad-based review of the U.S. export control system, including both defense trade controls and dual-use controls.
This is exactly what the NAM has been seeking. The President is right in recognizing that the existing export controls system is rooted in the Cold War era, and does not meet today's security threats or global technological realities. A new system is needed that will provide both better national security and economic security.
While the export control system has remained essentially the same for 60 years, the threats to our security and global competitive realities have not. We need an export control system that can keep genuinely sensitive technologies out of the hands of those who seek to harm the U.S. Unfortunately, our obsolete export control system is not providing the degree of security needed for today's threats, and is harming our ability to compete economically.
The present system restricts too many technologies, is costly, creates delays and uncertainties for foreign customers, impedes defense cooperation with our allies, and dissipates the government's export control resources in areas no longer relevant to our security. In controlling technologies freely available from other countries, our export control system is an effective export promotion program - but for our competitors, not for us.
The ability to innovate and to develop new technologies is absolutely key to our country's future, and this ability is being needlessly compromised by an out-of-date export control system. This issue is vital not just to a few large defense and technology firms, but to all U.S. manufacturing.
We cannot afford to keep shooting ourselves in the foot like this. An efficient export control system that carefully focuses on truly sensitive and unique technologies without hampering other exports is essential as America competes in an increasingly crowded world market for high technology goods and services.
The NAM looks forward to working with the Administration, both directly and as part of the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, for a more effective system that protects national security while encouraging exports and economic growth.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.