Export Controls:

Issues to Consider in Authorizing a New Export Administration Act

GAO-02-468T: Published: Feb 28, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2002.

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Joseph A. Christoff
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Two bills before Congress would introduce a new legal basis for controls over exports of dual use goods and services. In GAO's view, a new export administration act will need to balance stakeholder interests, assess the national security risks presented by end users, and balance the needs of exporters with foreign policy and national security interests. Both bills seek to balance these interests by involving the departments of Commerce, Defense and State. However, the lack of clear provisions raises questions about the balance between U.S. foreign policy and national security interests with economic interests. The House bill places greater emphasis on protecting foreign policy and national security interests, while the Senate bill emphasizes economic interests. A series of GAO reports suggests that the new legislation alone will not ensure that regulations and practices are implemented as Congress intended. Congress will need to oversee executive branch compliance with the law.

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