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Letter Urges Obama to Modernize Export Controls

Space Foundation Participates in Coalition for Security and Competitiveness Effort

The Space Foundation is among 14 organizations signing a July 13 letter to President Barack Obama encouraging U.S. export control modernization to improve the United States’ technological competitiveness. The Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, which was formed in 2007 to draw attention to the need for fundamental export control modernization, asked the president to “adopt new policies to govern U.S. export controls and new administrative regulations and procedures to streamline export licensing and compliance requirements,” in order to “enable the U.S.to maintain its technological leadership and thereby strengthen our national security.” The Coalition has developed specific reform recommendations.

The organizations signing the letter as Coalition members are:
The Space Foundation
Aerospace Industries Association
American Association of Exporters and Importers
AMT - Association for Manufacturing Technology
The Business Roundtable
Coalition for Employment Through Exports
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Industrial Fastener Institute
National Association of Manufacturers
National Defense Industrial Association
National Foreign Trade Council
Satellite Industry Association
TechAmerica
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

The full text of the letter follows:

 

The Coalition for Security and Competitiveness

July 13, 2009

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:
We write as members of the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, which we formed in 2007 to draw public and U.S. government attention to the need for fundamental reform of the U.S. export control systems. Our increasingly out-of-date export controls on American-origin dual-use and defense technologies are adversely affecting our country's leadership and competitiveness in several fields, as a committee of the National Research Council recently concluded. There is mounting evidence of a resulting impact on national defense, according to several Defense Department reports.

We believe that action by your Administration is urgently needed to adopt new policies to govern U.S. export controls and new administrative regulations and procedures to streamline export licensing and compliance requirements. Our Coalition has developed specific recommendations for reform.

From our experience with previous efforts at export control reform, we are convinced that only Presidential leadership and continuing engagement by senior government leaders will lead to meaningful and lasting improvements. With such high-level direction, reforms could be made that would enable the U.S.to maintain its technological leadership and thereby strengthen our national security.

Therefore, we seek a new initiative to fundamentally reform U.S. export controls, initiated under your leadership and managed by senior officials who are committed to translating your reform goals into a new national export control policy and modernized regulatory and administrative systems. To begin that process, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with the appropriate senior advisor to discuss our recommendations.

Sincerely,
Edmund B. Rice
President, Coalition for Employment through Exports

William A. Reinsch
President, National Foreign Trade Council & Co-Chair USA*Engage

On behalf of the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness members:
Aerospace Industries Association
American Association of Exporters and Importers
AMT - Association for Manufacturing Technology
The Business Roundtable
Coalition for Employment Through Exports
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Industrial Fastener Institute
National Association of Manufacturers
National Defense Industrial Association
National Foreign Trade Council
Satellite Industry Association
The Space Foundation
TechAmerica
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

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