The Defense Department announced April 18 the release of a major report on space export control policy.
Congress requested this report from the secretaries of defense and state in Section 1248 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111-84).
The report summarizes a DOD and State Department risk assessment of U.S. space export control policy, which concludes that most communication and lower performing remote sensing satellites and related components can be moved from the United States Munitions List to the Commerce Control List without harm to national security.
The report also recommends that Congress return to the president authority to determine the export control jurisdictional status of satellites and related items. It further recommends that DOD be provided authority to apply appropriate monitoring and other export control measures to individual cases, in order to most effectively reduce risks to national security.
“This in-depth report shows that the United States can safely modify the export controls placed on satellites and related component technology that are widely available, while maintaining firm control on systems and technologies deemed truly critical to national security,” said Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Jim Miller. “The steps recommended are fully consistent with the administration’s broader export control reform efforts, which aim to build higher fences around fewer items.”
“Implementing the recommendations in this report will facilitate cooperation with U.S. allies and export control regime partners, strengthen the competitiveness of sectors key to U.S. national security, and increase U.S. exports – all while maintaining robust controls where needed to enhance our national security,” said Miller.
The Aerospace Industries Association welcomed the review.
“Today’s release of the Defense Department assessment of the implications of normalizing export controls on satellites and related components gives decision makers in Congress crucial information on how reform can strengthen both our national security and space industrial base,” said Marion C. Blakey, AIA president and CEO. “The report, required under section 1248 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, has long been sought by the Aerospace Industries Association and its member companies because satellites are the only widely available commercial technology singled out for restrictive export controls under current law.
“AIA’s recent report, Competing for Space: Satellite Export Policy and U.S. National Security , outlines the devastating impact these draconian controls have had on the U.S. space industrial base,” Blakey continued. “We estimate that U.S. manufacturers lost $21 billion in satellite revenue from 1999 to 2009, costing about 9,000 direct jobs annually. At a time when the budget request for national security space is already slated for a 22 percent reduction, Congress needs to act to ensure the U.S. space industrial base remains viable and stays second to none. These companies, many of them small and medium sized enterprises, can only sustain our technological edge if they are no longer over-regulated out of legitimate commercial markets.
AIA urges Congress to move quickly on the recommendations to strengthen the U.S. space industrial base.”
The report is available at www.defense.gov/home/features/2011/0111_nsss/docs/1248_Report_Space_Export_Control.pdf.