Obama Makes Export Reform a Top Priority

Space News reports that President Barack Obama has made export control reform a key priority for the new year.

U.S. President Barack Obama has directed his administration to recommend by no later than Jan. 29 steps leading to an overhaul of the U.S. export control regime, according to a presidential directive signed Dec. 21.

The recommendations are to be based on the findings of a sweeping interagency review of U.S. rules that govern exports of unclassified military and dual-use technologies — including commercial communications satellites — announced by the White House Aug. 13.

“The results of this review shall be used to prepare a comprehensive set of recommendations to create a new U.S. export control system,” states the Dec. 21 document, known as Presidential Study Directive 8. “The recommendations shall include statutory and regulatory steps necessary for implementation.”

American companies have long complained that overly restrictive export laws have damaged their competitiveness overseas while strengthening foreign competitors.

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