The high tech goods sector employs 2.5 million workers and drives American 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 Their ability to remain ahead of global competition is significantly undermined by the outdated and ineffective U.S. export control system.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 estimates 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 support a new approach to export controls that is aimed at today’s threats rather than yesterday’s Cold War. The current system is detrimental to America’s national security. Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted that “its rules, organizations, and processes are not set up to deal effectively with those situations that could do us the most harm in the 21st Century.” We need a sensible policy that guarantees our security but does not burden legitimate exports.
The NAM believes it is vitally important for both national and economic security to modernize the export control system. Modernization will enhance the government’s ability to protect national security interests while removing the burdens and disadvantages placed on U.S. high-technology manufacturers. The government should thoroughly modernize export controls to strengthen the industrial base, enhance national security and improve economic competitiveness.