Rep. Hunter turns up heat on Commerce Department’s export controls
House Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., voiced concern Wednesday about the Commerce Department’s failure to conduct sufficient post-shipment verification of licensed exports.
“If the Commerce Department officials cannot conduct PSVs (post-shipment verifications) as scheduled to confirm that technologies arrive at their intended destination and are used for the purposes stated in the export license, there is no guarantee that American know-how will not ultimately be used against our own citizens and armed forces,” Hunter said in a statement.
Hunter referred to a General Accounting Office report released earlier this month that cited Commerce’s approval of 26,340 licenses for so-called “dual-use” items, or goods that could be used for both commercial and military purposes, during fiscal years 2000-2002. The federal watchdog agency report noted that 28 percent of the controlled exports went to countries of concern, such as China, India and Russia.
The GAO report also found that during fiscal years 2000-2002 the Commerce Department only completed 428 post-shipment verifications, or about 6 percent, for dual-use shipments. Of those 428 verification checks, just 325 had favorable outcomes, according to the GAO.
Some countries, such as China, refused to allow Commerce officials to inspect facilities with U.S. licensed exports to verify their use.
“Clearly, countries that refuse, delay, or complicate our ability to verify that technology we export to them is being used for its intended purpose are suspect and we ought to reconsider future exports to such countries,” Hunter said.