Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., member of the Senate Banking Committee spoke about the importance of reauthorizing the Export Administration Act at a Banking Committee hearing this morning. Enzi encouraged nominees for positions in the Department of Commerce to work on overcoming the critical shortcomings in the current regulations. For more information about the nominees visit banking.senate.gov.
Enzi’s statement follows.
Senate Banking Committee Hearing on
Various Nominations before the Committee
September 15, 2005
Thank you, nominees before the Committee today. Over the course of the past few months, my staff and I have had the pleasure of meeting with each of you. I am impressed with your credentials and am confident that you have earned the honor of these nominations. As we move forward with your nomination process, I will be particularly interested in those nominees on the second panel that will be dealing with export administration and enforcement with the Department of Commerce.
As many of you know, I have been working to reauthorize the Export Administration Act for over seven years now. During this time, my staff and I have worked diligently with all parties to craft legislation that would correct some of the critical shortcomings in the current regulation. In some ways, we have been successful.
I believe that we have educated some members about the importance of creating a strong export control system. We have built consensus around some areas of reform. Unfortunately, we have not been successful in passing meaningful reform in the form of a reauthorization of the Export Administration Act. The Department of Commerce plays a critical role in all of this.
So far, the Department has streamlined some of the licensing processes and relieved some of the burden that technology companies face by doing business overseas. I applaud them on their efforts. However, they need statutory authority to make substantive improvements to law enforcement and control mechanisms. Congress should be committed to granting this authority.
The federal government has limited resources to deal with the control of dual-use exports developed within the United States. Molding export controls that focus our priorities on those products and nations that may threaten our national security is good policy. Not only will it make our controls more effective, it will strengthen our ability to craft multilateral controls that truly keep our dual-use technology out of the wrong hands. It is very difficult for the United States to tell our international partners to stop selling goods and technology to bad actors, when we don’t have a statute in place that controls our own sales.
I will continue to emphasize the importance of reauthorizing the Export Administration Act to my colleagues in this committee and elsewhere. I look forward to the Department of Commerce’s continued role in this debate and trust that we will continue to make progress together to get this done.