U.S. Export Control System and the President's Reform Initiative [April 19, 2013]   [open pdf - 545KB]

"The 113th Congress may consider reforms of the U.S. export control system. The balance between national security and export competitiveness has made the subject of export controls controversial for decades. Through the Export Administration Act (EAA), the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and other authorities, the United States restricts the export of defense items or munitions; so-called 'dual-use' goods and technology--items with both civilian and military applications; certain nuclear materials and technology; and items that would assist in the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons or the missile technology used to deliver them. U.S. export controls are also used to restrict exports to certain countries on which the United States imposes economic sanctions. At present, the EAA has expired and dual-use controls are maintained under IEEPA authorities. […] Aspects of the U.S. export control system have long been criticized by exporters, nonproliferation advocates, and other stakeholders as being too rigorous, insufficiently rigorous, cumbersome, obsolete, inefficient, or any combination of these descriptions. In August 2009, the Obama Administration launched a comprehensive review of the U.S. export control system. In April 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates proposed an outline of a new system based on four singularities: [1] a single export control licensing agency for both dual-use and munitions exports, [2] a unified control list, [3] a single enforcement coordination agency, and [4] a single integrated information technology (IT) system."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41916
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