CSIS To Study Export Controls On Defense Hardware, Technology

By | May 14, 2007 | Uncategorized

The Department of Defense asked the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank, to study export controls on military items.

CSIS will examine current U.S. export control regulations in light of the U.S. national security requirement to work with friendly and allied governments while maintaining appropriate and effective control of sensitive technology, according to CSIS.

The study will draw on perspectives of interested stakeholders from the departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Defense, the executive branch, Congress, and industry to participate and share their views.

As part of the study, participants will review the relationship between globalization, technology innovation, defense relationships, export controls and national security in the 21st century and determine the most the efficient and effective process.

The study is expected to take about eight months.

This study comes after years of debate, in which defense contractors say export controls are too restrictive and hamper overseas sales, and overseas production of systems components, while some lawmakers and others say too many systems the Pentagon buys (or ships it leases) are made in whole or part abroad, using U.S. taxpayer dollars to create jobs for foreign workers.

(Please see Space & Missile Defense Report, Monday, Dec. 11, 2006.)

Some Pentagon leaders say it may be far more efficient and effective to be able to procure items abroad, where contractors may have technologies not found in the United States.

A massive consolidation of the U.S.-based defense industry in the past two decades, forming a handful of immense companies, has meant that sometimes there is little domestic competition for some Pentagon contracts. For example, only two firms are competing for an Air Force tanker plane contract where one of the firms offers an overseas-design aircraft; only two companies working together in a joint operation make attack submarines; only one firm makes aircraft carriers, and so on.

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