Resolution to Reform Export Control Regulation of Dual-Use and Defense Items Exposed

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The Resolution to Reform Export Control Regulation of Dual-Use and Defense Items was adopted by ALEC's International Relations Task Force and approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on October 16, 2012. An updated version of this Resolution is available on, language removed from the original is indicated with strikethrough, words added are given in bold. (Accessed on 2/29/2016).

CMD's Bill Summary

From its 1998 resolution in support of "Fast Track" Trade Promotion Authority, which was used to push a permanent normal trading relationship with China through Congress in 2000 with little discussion or debate, to more recent resolutions in support of the proposed Colombia, Panama and Korea Free Trade Agreements, ALEC has consistently urged its members to support a radical "free trade" agenda. This free trade agenda has cost America millions of jobs as factories closed and moved overseas in search of cheaper labor. Since 2001, an estimated 2.4 million American jobs have been lost to China alone. Now a diverse array of service sector jobs, from accounting and tax preparation to health care and credit card servicing are being off-shored under these agreements. Such free trade agreements also allow public health, consumer, environmental and worker safety rules to be challenged as "barriers to trade" in trade tribunals that operate outside the constraints of U.S. law.

ALEC has also been a major promoter of the U.S. tobacco industry, which seeks to hook new generations of smokers on their products around the world. Reynolds Tobacco was the corporate co-chair of the International Relations Task Force of ALEC. ALEC has a trade resolution specifically targeting the European Union ban on Snus, a moist tobacco product often marketed to the young with fruit flavors. Reynolds produces Camel Snus in four flavors and is not happy that this dangerous product is banned in most of Europe. Note that ALEC maintains a list of "International Delegates," which are elected government officials around the world.

ALEC Resolution Text


Current regulations constrain US business from competing globally, create friction with trusted allies who have to negotiate our cumbersome export controls regulatory system and do not effectively prevent sensitive technology from reaching potential adversaries. In the near term, US defense spending is likely to decline, compelling companies to rely more heavily on exports in order to maintain the investment levels in research and development necessary to keep our technology at the cutting edge. This resolution applauds the priority that the current Administration has placed on this issue as well as its ongoing efforts to conduct a comprehensive review and improvement of the export control system.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, our current export control regulations handicap American business from competing globally; and

WHEREAS, efforts to tighten technology transfer regulations have not prevented other countries from acquiring and/or recreating American military and dual-use technologies but have crippled industries such as our commercial satellite industry; and

WHEREAS, the visa controls associated with our export control regulations have restricted and discouraged the foreign talent necessary to maintain America’s competitive edge in defense technology; and

WHEREAS, technological advances proceed so rapidly that lists of controlled items rapidly become outdated; and

WHEREAS, in a departure from the Cold War years, the majority of our military technologies are adaptations of commercial technologies and commercial components are increasingly part of military systems; and

WHEREAS, U.S. defense spending may decline in the near term, compelling companies to rely more heavily on exports in order to fund the research and development necessary to create the next generation of equipment necessary to maintain our technological preeminence; and

WHEREAS, creating a regulatory environment leading to the failure of American defense firms could force the U.S. to rely on foreign vendors, which could negatively impact our nation’s security and increase costs to the U.S. Government; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. aerospace and defense industries are a powerful economic engine that according to the Aerospace Industries Association,' contributed $97 $87 billion in export sales in 2006 2011, directly employs 831,000 624,000 Americans and indirectly supports 2 million 700,000 jobs in related fields; and

WHEREAS, aerospace brings in the biggest foreign trade surplus of any manufacturing sector; and

WHEREAS, it is critical that we maintain interoperability with those partners who are engaged with us in current conflicts and our restrictive export control policies impede interoperability maintenance; and

WHEREAS, the confusion about which potentially controlled items fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of State or the Department of Commerce can have serious economic and national security consequences;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we applaud the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] applauds the current Administration’s initiative 46 ongoing efforts to conduct a comprehensive review of the export control system to improve US defense industry opportunities while still protecting critical US military technology; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we support Title VIII of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 2410) which passed the House in June 2009; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the U.S. Senate to draft and pass the Senate version of H.R. 2410; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] encourages the House Foreign Affairs Committee to follow through with plans to introduce an updated and modernized Export Administration Act by the end of 2010; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any final legislation should remedy the current confusion surrounding split jurisdiction between the Departments of State and Commerce and should instruct regulatory agencies to focus on regulatory efforts on protection of current and future national security rather than on original or historical use of an item or technology; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the final any legislation should include the simplification and rationalization of export control regulation envisioned in the recommendations of former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that final any legislation should instruct regulatory agencies to place primary emphasis on regulation of embrace the efforts of the Departments of Defense, State and Commerce to emphasize the destination and retransfer of items and technology rather than unnecessarily restricting trade with allies and trusted nations through excessive focus on categorization of items and technology; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that final any legislation emphasize using the export control system as a tool of statecraft to assist in building strategic partnerships enhancing the export controls and infrastructure of allies while building strategic partnerships; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that final any legislation should bring order and rationality to the export licensing system to expedite licenses for trusted allies and remove barriers to licenses for trusted allies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that final legislation ensure that the resources that the Department of State needs to follow the policies already contained in Section 120.3 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and eliminate items from the U.S. Munitions List that have a predominant civil application or the performance equivalent of a civilian product be allocated; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that final legislation address the issues unique to the satellite industry, which was seriously weakened when satellite components and parts were placed on the U.S. Munitions List and made subject to ITAR.