Export Administration Act: Evolution, Provisions, and Debate [Updated May 5, 2005] [open pdf - 115KB]
"The 109th Congress again may consider legislation to rewrite or to reauthorize the Export Administration Act (EAA). In the 108th Congress, H.R. 55 was introduced on January 7, 2003, yet no action was taken on the proposed legislation. Through the EAA, Congress delegates to the executive branch its express constitutional authority to regulate foreign commerce by controlling exports. The EAA provides the statutory authority for export controls on sensitive dual-use goods and technologies: items that have both civilian and military applications, including those items that can contribute to the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weaponry. The EAA, which originally expired in 1989, periodically has been reauthorized for short periods of time, with the last incremental extension expiring in August 2001. At other times and currently, the export licensing system created under the authority of EAA has been continued by the invocation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). EAA confers upon the President the power to control exports for national security, foreign policy or short supply purposes. It also authorizes the President to establish export licensing mechanisms for items detailed on the Commerce Control List (CCL), and it provides some guidance and places certain limits on that authority. The CCL currently provides detailed specifications for about 2,400 dual-use items including equipment, materials, software, and technology (including data and know-how) likely requiring some type of export license from the Commerce Departments Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). BIS administers the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which, in addition to the CCL, describe licensing policy and procedures such as commodity classification, license applications, and interagency dispute resolution procedures. In the absence of a currently authorized EAA, the EAR is maintained under IEEPA authority."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31832