Original Press Release
NAM Presses for an Updated Export Controls System
Press release date: July 26, 2007
High-Tech Manufacturers Hindered by a System from a Different Era
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2007 - The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) applauded the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for addressing export controls at a hearing today and called for continued action to modernize an outdated system that has failed to keep pace with globalization and rapid technological changes.
"The ability of America's manufacturers to provide cutting edge technology is at risk due to a system that is a relic of a different era," said NAM President John Engler in a statement to the subcommittee. "We need an export controls system that keeps sensitive technologies out of the hands of those seeking to harm us, yet allows high-tech industries to expand exports."
To understand how it has gone awry, consider that even aircraft toilet seats can get bogged down in the current export controls system. "The same seat that goes into a commercial product is controlled by International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) if it's modified by a few inches and installed in a Munitions List item," Engler said.
As a lead member of the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, the NAM drafted and endorsed 19 recommendations for improving the licensing process at the State and Commerce departments. These were submitted to the President in March, 2007.
"Before even beginning technical discussions with their own subsidiaries in Europe, many American high-tech companies must obtain an export license for controlled technology," he said. "European companies are not constrained by this process and that puts American manufacturers at a disadvantage.
"Reinforcing the perception that the U.S. system is a problem, many European companies are now advertising their products as 'U.S. manufacturing-free,'" Engler said. "For manufacturers, a transparent, predictable and efficient system will avoid having American companies designed out of sales opportunities abroad because of an unpredictable and lengthy bureaucratic labyrinth."
Engler's complete statement is available at: nam.org/exportcontrolsstatement
The 19 recommendations of the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness are available at: http://securityandcompetitiveness.org/proposals/ 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 award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
CONTACTS: J.P. FIELDER (202) 637-3089