The federal government regulates the export of items with potential military uses to assure they do not fall into the hands of America’s enemies. The Obama Administration recognized early in its tenure that the export-control regime had become outdated, and was impairing the overseas sales of U.S. technology –potentially harming both the nation’s competitiveness and its security. Major progress has been made in updating the State Department’s munitions list and the Commerce Department’s compendium of dual-use technologies subject to government oversight. But the revised rules for some electronic items such as uncooled focal-plane arrays still place excessively restrictive limits on exports — so much so that domestic manufacturers might be driven out of business, leaving America’s military dependent on offshore sources for an important dual-use technology. The government needs to find a more constructive way of reconciling the nation’s economic and security needs. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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