Reducing the Red Tape

The Obama Administration has revamped the nation’s export control system to streamline the oversight process. The aim is to more effectively control the most sensitive military and dual-use technologies, while also enhancing US competitiveness in certain manufacturing and technology sectors. Instead of today’s “overly complicated” and redundant system that operates under the Commerce Department’s control list and the State Department’s munitions list, the new system will be based on a three-tier approach, states a White House release. The highest tier will protect items that “provide a critical military or intelligence advantage” to the US and are “available almost exclusively from the United States, or items that are a weapon of mass destruction.” The middle tier covers items providing “substantial military or intelligence advantage” to the US and available almost exclusively to the US and its allies. The lowest tier deals with items available more broadly. (See also Washington Times report.)