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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 60, September 2001

News Review

US Export Controls Revised

On September 6, the US Senate voted 85-14 in favour of the Export Administration Act (EAA) 2001 (S. 149). The measure substantially revises the original EAA, adopted in 1979 and periodically extended and provisionally amended by President Clinton since 1994, and by President Bush on August 20 this year. The revision has long been problematic, with calls for an end to bans on exports on items widely available in and outside the US countered by concerns of opening a new door to the spread of sensitive, dual-use technology. The Senate bill, broadly supported by the administration, will now be submitted to the House.

The case in favour of a new EAA was vividly presented by Republican Senator Mike Enzi on September 6: "The last time there was a major change [to US export controls], Jimmy Carter was President, bell bottoms were in style, disco was king..." Another supporter if the changes, Republican Senator Phil Gramm, noted (September 6): "If you can walk into a Radio Shack and get it, it's too late to protect it."

Reports: Senate takes up export control law, Associated Press, September 4; Senate revises exports law, Associated Press, September 6; Senate approves export control reforms, Reuters, September 6.

© 2001 The Acronym Institute.