Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said a report from the Study Group on Enhancing Multilateral Export Controls for U.S. National Security shows the necessity of a more flexible export control system.
Enzi's comments came at a news conference this morning held in conjunction with the release of the report. Also present were Representatives Christopher Cox, R-Calif., and Howard Berman, D-Calif., who co-chaired the commission with Enzi and Dr. Cathleen Fisher, Executive Director of the Study Group.
For more information on the report and Enzi's export control reform efforts please visit his website at enzi.senate.gov.
Enzi's full comments follow...
Statement by U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi
on Release of Export Control Study
April 24, 2001
Thank you for your interest in the study group's report, as well as the importance of improving multilateral export control regimes.
This bi-partisan study group was established by the Congress in October 1999, because the current multilateral system of controlling sensitive technologies is inadequate. The group's report is the result of nine months of research, discussion, analysis and in-depth discussion both in the U.S. and abroad.
Many dramatic changes have occurred over the past decade that present additional challenges to the effective control of both dual-use and military items. The U.S. is rarely the only producer of militarily-useful high tech products anymore. The effects of globalization, such as increased flows of trade, foreign investment and international communications have contributed to the more widespread production and availability of high tech products. Also, contributing to globalization was the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, lowering barriers even further.
Export controls still contribute to the enhancement of U.S. national security. Unilateral approaches, however, are not very effective. During his campaign, President Bush agreed, saying that "unilateral controls are typically ineffective and sometimes counterproductive."
To that end, we recognize that a multilateral approach to reforming export controls is necessary. A more flexible export control system that can adapt to both the economic and technological changes, as well as our security goals, is needed. These reforms will help strengthen our national security.
The study group recognizes that the best way to achieve multilateral export control improvements is to first reform and modernize our own export control laws. Our allies and other
supplier nations are more likely to agree to multilateral reforms if the U.S. demonstrates it can bring its export controls into the realities of the 21st century. Therefore, Recommendation #3, which refers to reform of US export control laws, encourages the Administration and Congress to agree upon an updated EAA, as well as conduct a thorough review of the Arms Export Control Act.
Many of you know I have been working to update and reauthorize the Export Administration Act. The bill, S.149, has the full support of President Bush, and the Senate Banking Committee overwhelmingly approved the bill by a 19-1 vote. The bill recognizes the importance of effective controls and thus, urges the Administration to seek to improve the dual-use multilateral export control regimes.
Although the report did not specifically endorse any specific legislative effort, the members of the study group believed that the EAA should be updated and have the support of the Administration. I believe S.149 succeeds on both of these counts. For example, the bill received the written endorsement of President Bush's national security team, including the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Advisor. On March 28, President Bush called the Committee's action "good news," and urged the Senate "to pass it quickly."
Lastly, I would like to thank the other co-chairs and other participants of the study group. The diversity of the group's membership contributed to making the report and its recommendations not only sensible, but practical and usable.