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August 14, 2009 

President Obama Orders Export Control Review Initiative

Be sure to follow the International Trade Law News Twitter feed at for more regular news updates, including yesterday's announcement that President Obama has directed the National Economic Council and National Security Council to conduct a broad review of the U.S. export control system.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman's statement on the White House announcement is reprinted below. Representative Berman plans to introduce a new Export Administration Act in 2010.

New Export Control Review Will Help Improve U.S. Security, Berman Says

Van Nuys, CA – Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today welcomed the Administration’s new initiative to review the U.S. export control system.

“I am very pleased to see the Obama Administration will undertake this thorough review,” Berman said. “It is years overdue. A modernized export control system is needed to deal more effectively with the security threats posed by global diffusion of dual-use technologies and to maintain continued U.S. technological leadership.

“Effective export controls are critical to U.S. national security, but they must be responsive to the challenges of the modern globalized world," Berman added. "That is why I have launched a congressional review of U.S. export controls on U.S. goods that have both commercial and military applications – so-called ‘dual-use’ items. I hope to introduce a new Export Administration Act in the beginning of next year that will overhaul the dual-use export control system.”

Dual-use items are those that can be used for both commercial and military purposes, and are therefore unlawful for export to certain countries without a U.S. license.

The fundamental basis for U.S. dual-use export controls, the Export Administration Act of 1979, expired in 1994. It was extended briefly in 2000, and has been kept in force only through the extraordinary authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Today the White House also announced that it was extending the Export Administration Act by a year.




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