Export Controls

The nation's high-technology sectors employs millions of workers, and these companies drive America's global leadership in advanced technology. Their ability to remain ahead of global competition is significantly undermined by the outdated and ineffective U.S. export control system. The Milken Institute has estimated that if the export control system is modernized, U.S. high tech exports could increase by $60 billion, resulting in 350,000 new jobs.

Manufacturers need a new approach to export controls, aimed at today's threats rather than yesterday's Cold War. We need a sensible policy that guarantees security, avoids unnecessary burdens on legitimate exports and facilitates international cooperation with our allies. The government should thoroughly modernize export controls to strengthen the industrial base, enhance national security and improve economic competitiveness.

President Obama launched a comprehensive review of U.S. export controls in 2009. The NAM strongly supports the objectives of the President's Export Control Reform Initiative -- to focus federal resources on the threats that matter most, to bring transparency and coherence to these regulations and to enhance the competitiveness of manufacturing and technology sectors in the United States.

The Administration is making great strides in reconciling the separate control lists. In addition to completing that task in 2015, we strongly urge President Obama to prioritize much-needed management reforms—like a truly connected IT system across licensing agencies and formalizing periodic reviews of current licensing rules and exceptions—that would further streamline licensing and system administration. Further, manufacturers would greatly benefit from a renewed attempt to create an efficient intra-company transfer license for trusted companies, an effective program license framework and simplified encryption controls. Addressing the barriers to civil nuclear exports would also benefit U.S. security and competitiveness.

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