Chairman Gramm, Senator Sarbanes, and Members of the Committee:
It is a great honor for me to be here today as the President's nominee for the position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. I thank the President and Secretary Evans for their confidence and trust in me.
I appreciate the time that several members of the Committee have taken in the past few weeks to meet with me individually to discuss export and related issues. I regard consultation with this Committee as an important and ongoing process. If confirmed, I will look forward to working closely with you and your staff.
The Bureau of Export Administration operates at the intersection of issues involving industry and national security. A principal focus for the Bureau is administering an export control system that is intended to further the growth of U.S. exports while protecting our national security. On the one hand, it is important to enhance the operation of the system for the 21st century in a manner that affords business the opportunity to compete effectively in today's increasingly competitive global marketplace. It is essential to the health of our nation's industrial and technological base that U.S. companies be able to export their goods, services, and technology without being hindered by arbitrary and unnecessary export controls.
At the same time, however, as someone who has worked at the U.S. Department of State, I fully appreciate the critical importance of protecting this country's national security by ensuring that our sensitive technologies do not fall into the wrong hands. The challenge for all of us -- in government and in the private sector -- is to have a tough-minded, yet common-sense export control regime that strikes the proper balance between sharing our technology with friends and protecting against the transfer of sensitive technology to potential adversaries. If confirmed, I am committed to the pursuit of policies and procedures that will advance these objectives.
If confirmed, I also will try to enhance multilateral cooperation to control the proliferation of the most critical technologies to potential adversaries. If the U.S. government determines that our companies should not make a particular technology available to certain countries, then we owe it to our business community to make every effort possible to ensure that our allies and partners do not undercut us by making that same technology available.
Finally, the Bureau's work involving industry and national security extends to assisting in the coordination of the U.S. Government's initiatives on critical infrastructure protection. This effort includes promoting public-private partnerships across industry sectors, integrating the various infrastructure plans developed by these partnerships into a comprehensive national plan, and assisting Federal departments and agencies in assessing their own reliance on critical infrastructures. In an era where cyber-terrorism is a real and dangerous threat, I regard the work of the Bureau's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office as an important component of our overall mission.
Let me conclude by thanking the Committee for its prompt consideration of my nomination and by reiterating my commitment to work closely and cooperatively with you.
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