March 6, 2007 marked the formation of the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness (CSC) that was organized by eight associations representing business, manufacturing, aerospace and technology in an effort to support the modernization of U.S. export controls. Members of CSC include: Aerospace Industries Association; The Association for Manufacturing Technology; Coalition for Employment Through Exports; Electronic Industries Alliance; Information Technology Industry Council; National Association of Manufacturers; National Foreign Trade Council; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
CSC’s mission is to “achieve a more efficient, predictable and transparent export control system that is an enabling component of America’s broader national security strategy.” Specifically, CSC advocates improvements in the U.S. export licensing system to reduce licensing decision time, to increase predictability of licensing decisions with regard to similar applications and to increase transparency for industry and foreign partners in the license application process. Furthermore, CSC proposes that a modern export control system should have the following characteristics:
• identify accurately and safeguard sensitive and militarily critical technologies;
• enhance U.S. technological leadership and global industrial competitiveness through more responsive and efficient regulatory management;
• facilitate defense trade and technological exchange with allies and trusted partners;
• support a strong U.S. technology industrial base and highly-skilled workforce; and
• promote greater multilateral cooperation with our friends and allies on export controls.
In sum, CSC argues that improvements to the export control system would enhance the United States’ national security, economic strength and technological leadership.
CSC’s first action on March 6, 2007, was to send a letter to President Bush that offered eight recommendations for modernizing export controls on dual-use items controlled by DOC and 11 recommendations for modernizing export controls on munitions list items controlled by the U.S. Department of State. In addition, CSC urged the president to take action on the recommendations and requested a meeting to discuss them. According to its press release, CSC remains “committed to working with the Executive Branch and Congress in a cooperative spirit to accomplish these important goals.”
On Capitol Hill, a new congressional working group on export controls is to be headed up by Reps. Don Manzullo (R-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY). CSC intends to cooperate with this congressional working group in bringing about improvements to the export control system.