æHigher fencesÆ for fewer controlled exports
Any reform of the U.S. export control regime should adopt a policy of 'higher fences around a smaller number of items,' National Foreign Trade Council President Bill Reinsch said.
The 'process needs to be based on a constantly updated understanding of technology changes here in the United States and overseas,' he said.
Reinsch, a former Commerce Department undersecretary for export administration during the Clinton administration, made these points during a speech this week before the Practicing Law Institute's annual 'Coping with U.S. Export Controls' conference.
He said efforts by the Obama administration and Congress offer the most promising prospects toward reform of the country's Cold War era export controls in 20 years.
'In the good old days, an export was an export. You made it here and shipped it over there in a box,' Reinsch said. 'Now we are in the era of global supply chains.'
He outlined the business community's key principles for export control reform, developed by the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, a group of companies and associations representing aerospace and high-tech companies, and the Export Control Working Group, composed of many of the same companies, practitioners and seasoned compliance experts.
The principles recommend that any reform effort should:
' Draw clear lines of agency responsibility and ensure accountability.
' Pursue controls and enforcement in partnership with the business community rather than as adversaries.
' Keep pace with technology change and the development of global supply chains by revising and reducing control lists.
' Enhance cooperation with U.S. allies and rely on multilateral controls.
' Complete the transition to an end user-based system by developing procedures for trusted end users and exporters.
'From a security point of view, knowledge and technology matter more than the box, because it is the key not only to our national security but also to our economic competitiveness,' Reinsch said. 'It should be clear from all these developments that controlling exports is harder than it ever was, and the burden on our policy makers and enforcement officials much greater. In fact, it forces them to radically rethink our policy.'