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Industry Coalition Recommends Export-Control Reform

Scott Jensen (703) 741-5834
January 15, 2010

Recommendations Made to Administration to Protect Innovation, Economy, Security

ARLINGTON, VA (Jan. 15, 2010) – As a member of The Coalition for Security and Competitiveness (CSC), the American Chemistry Council (ACC) supports the recommendations the coalition announced this week to improve the system that controls the export of sensitive technologies.  In its policy recommendations and a letter to President Obama, the CSC, which represents a variety of business and manufacturing sectors, detailed specific steps the administration can take to enhance both national security and U.S. competitiveness through the modernization of the export-control system.

Export control is vital to the business of chemistry, which is a $689 billion-a-year high-tech industry that accounts for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports.  Of the nearly 1 million American jobs provided by the chemicals industry, 227,000 are supported by exports.  Without changes to the export system, American industries — including chemistry and many others — will be unable to compete on the global market.

For the chemistry industry, the most relevant export-control recommendations made to the administration include:

  • Developing shared policy guidelines to encourage greater coordination of implementation, licensing, and enforcement efforts;
  • Abolishing re-exportation licensing requirements for exports among allied nations;
  • Abolishing unilateral controls that add significant costs to exports but return little benefit in proliferation controls; and,
  • Offering incentives for other nations to adopt similar export controls.

“The export-control system hasn’t been significantly updated in more than 20 years,” explained Michael P. Walls, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at ACC.  “Consider the technological innovations and medical advances that have come along in that time.  This system must be updated to protect these innovations, while also making provisions to protect our national security.  And, given the current economic environment we are facing, these changes are necessary to promote economic growth and keep the U.S. competitive in the global marketplace.  We applaud President Obama’s reviewing the export-control system, and are hopeful that any upcoming reforms will bring the export-control system into the 21st century.”

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