NAM Outlines Recommendations to Modernize Outdated Export Control System

Letter to White House National Security and Economic Advisors Addresses Security Needs and Global Technological Realities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), which has been leading business community efforts with the current and previous administrations to modernize the export control system, yesterday provided a letter to National Security Advisor General James Jones and National Economic Advisor Lawrence Summers outlining its recommendations for the President’s export controls review. The letter stressed the need to tighten controls on truly sensitive technology and simplify controls on technology that is not critical to national security – and is readily available from other countries.

The letter from NAM President John Engler conveyed that the U.S. export control system is not in sync with the realities of the 21st century and must be modernized to improve both U.S. security and global competitiveness. The NAM recommendations aim to help shape a 21st century export controls regime that enhances U.S. security, strengthens the defense industrial base, and does not serve as an export promotion program for our trade competitors.

NAM President John Engler wrote: "We believe our recommendations will strengthen national security, focus limited resources on truly sensitive technologies, promote U.S. technological and scientific leadership, and improve economic competitiveness. While these recommendations only focus on near and medium term improvements, the NAM also supports the Administration’s goal for fundamental reform. We will also provide a blueprint to the Administration on our vision for fundamental reform and creation of a new export control system for the 21st century in the near future.

"The NAM looks forward to working with the interagency team to improve the export control system by making it more predictable, transparent, and efficient and welcomes the opportunity to discuss our recommendations with the review team."

The NAM recommendations focus on the following areas:

1. Improving the Licensing System and Increasing Transparency

2. Providing Greater Assessments of Foreign Availability

3. Reviewing and Restructuring Encryption Rules and Policy

4. Conducting a Systematic Review of the Commerce Control List

5. Promoting Greater Multilateral Cooperation with our Friends and Allies

6. Enhancing the Commerce Department’s Role in the Commodity Jurisdiction Process

7. Improving Outreach Cooperation on Enforcement

8. Improving Outreach to and Resources for Small and Medium-sized Manufacturers

The NAM is also working closely with our partners in the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness (CSC) to provide a comprehensive reform package to the Administration. Those recommendations will be available in the near future at