In debates on export administration legislation, parties often fall into two camps: those who primarily want to liberalise controls in order to promote exports, and those who are apprehensive that liberalisation may compromise national security goals. While it is widely agreed that exports of some goods and technologies can adversely affect US national security and foreign policy, many believe that current export controls are detrimental to US business, that the resultant loss of competitiveness, market share, and jobs can harm the US economy, and that the harm to particular US industries and to the economy itself can negatively impact US security. Controversies arise with regard to the cost to the US economy, the licensing system, foreign availability of controlled items, and unilateral controls as opposed to multilateral regimes. In the last few years, congressional attention has focused on high-performance computers, encryption, stealth technology, precision machine tools, satellites, and aerospace technology. Congress has several options in addressing export administration policy, ranging from approving no new legislation to rewriting the entire Export Administration Act.
This book examines some of the controversies and debates raised by these opposing options.