Export Controls:

Commerce Department Has Improved Its Foreign Policy Reports to Congress

NSIAD-90-169: Published: Jun 12, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 1990.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed three of the Secretary of Commerce's reports concerning imposing, expanding, or extending foreign policy export controls.

GAO found that: (1) the reports generally complied with improved reporting requirements on foreign availability of controlled missile-related items; (2) the Department of Commerce consulted with industry concerning biological organism controls; (3) security-related foreign-policy-based controls have blurred the distinction between foreign-policy-based controls and national-security-based controls; and (4) increased reliance on foreign-policy-based controls may harm the competitiveness of U.S. industry because the Export Administration Act of 1979 makes foreign-policy-based controls easier to impose and more difficult to remove than national-security-based controls.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Language to delete the GAO reporting requirement was provided to the appropriate committee; language was not incorporated in the bill.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider amending the Export Administration Act to delete the requirement that GAO assess future reports in light of their improved quality and compliance with the act's requirements.


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