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November 05, 2009 

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Nomination of Undersecretary of Commerce for Export Administration

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing today on the nomination of Eric Hirschhorn to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, the most senior position in the Bureau of Industry and Security.

Mr. Hirschhorn, who is expected to play a central role in current export control reform efforts, was nominated by President Obama on September 11, 2009.

The hearing, chaired by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT), and included nominees for two other agencies, lasted only an hour and began with prepared statements by Senators Dodd and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL).

Mr. Hirschhorn was introduced by Representative Stephen Solarz (D-NY). Mr. Hirschhorn worked for Mr. Solarz in the New York Legislature many years ago. Mr. Hirschhorn's prepared remarks, which can be found here, focused on his previous experience work on export control issues at the Department of Commerce in the early 1980s and his many years in private law practice.

Following the prepared remarks, Senators Dodd and Shelby asked several questions. Senator Dodd asked about export control reforms, foreign availability, Iran sanctions and transshipment issues. Senator Shelby asked Mr. Hirschhorn about his past work on behalf of clients opposed to unilateral sanctions as well as export control reform issues.

Mr. Hirschhorn should be easily confirmed by the full Senate in the coming weeks.

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