U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative [January 8, 2018]   [open pdf - 871KB]

"Difficulty with striking an appropriate balance between national security and export competitiveness has made the subject of export controls controversial for decades. Through 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; dual-use goods and technology; 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. The Export Administration Act (EAA) legislated dual-use controls, but it has expired and such controls are presently maintained under IEEPA authorities. [...] In considering the future of the U.S. export control system, Congress may weigh the merits of a unified export control system--a chief goal of President Obama's proposal--or the continuation of the present bifurcated system by reauthorizing the EAA or enacting replacement legislation. In doing so, Congress may debate the record of the present dual-use system maintained by emergency authority, the aims and effectiveness of the present non-proliferation control regimes, the maintenance of the defense industrial base, and the balance between maintaining economic competitiveness and preserving national security."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41916
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