I am Roger Majak, and I am the President's nominee for the position of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. I welcome and appreciate this opportunity to appear before the Committee.
International trade, like all good things, involves risks as well as benefits. The Cold War threat of annihilation by a competing super power has been replaced by more subtle and varied -- but no less serious -- threats. Hostile governments, organizations, and individuals still challenge U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction, or engaging in military adventurism or terrorism. They continue to try to obtain advanced U.S. and foreign technologies for their nefarious activities through otherwise legitimate international trade channels.
In response to such risks, successive Congresses and Administrations of both parties have supported a rigorous system of export controls not only on actual weapons and military equipment, but also on a broad range of technologies useful for both military and peaceful purposes -- so-called "dual use" technologies. The U.S. system of export licensing constitutes the first line of defense against the misuse of these technologies, and the Commerce Department's Bureau of Export Administration has primary responsibility for administering that dual use export licensing system.
This Administration has made significant progress in focusing export controls on the most militarily critical technologies. The Office of Export Administration, which I have been nominated to head, has been reorganized to reflect the major areas of national security concerns: nuclear and missile technology, chemical and biological warfare, conventional military and foreign policy controls, and maintenance of the U.S. military industrial base.
Of course, a strong U.S. economy is an essential ingredient of national security. Maintaining and enhancing our technological leadership for the future requires that our companies be able to compete effectively in today's markets for widely available products. We must constantly weigh the impact of export controls on the global competitiveness of the U.S. companies we depend upon to develop even more advanced technologies. As President Clinton stated in his "National Security Science and Technology Strategy", his Administration is "committed to striking a balance between sharing our technology and protecting it so that the benefits continue to outweigh (the) risks." I welcome the opportunity, if confirmed by the Senate, to help the President, Secretary Daley, and the Congress to fulfill that critically important commitment.
Mr. Chairman, I want take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge my wife, Sally, who is
here today, not only for her support and many contributions to my life and career, but also for her
own considerable accomplishments as a dedicated public school principal. She is accompanied
by our daughter, Lydia. I also want to thank the Congress -- both individual members with
whom I've had the honor to work, and the institution as a whole -- for the opportunities and
education provided me during my 15-year career as a Congressional staff member. I gained
valuable understanding not only of the particular program I've now been nominated to
administer, but also about the broad scope of American foreign policy and great democratic
process which we cherish in this country. I want to assure this Committee that I have no greater
goal than to conduct and administer the export licensing program as fairly and effectively as
possible in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the President and the
Congress. I look forward, if confirmed, to consulting frequently with you and your colleagues.
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