Opening Statements of Committee Members

Opening Statement of Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)

Hearing on Reauthorization of the Export Administration Act:
Private Sector Views

10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 24, 1999

I would like to thank the witnesses on the panels for coming before us today to comment on the discussion draft of the Export Administration Act (EAA). This hearing is especially relevant because we will hear from those who observe or participate in the export control system from the outside.

Everyone agrees that the reauthorization of the EAA is of utmost importance. The Cox Committee and the Inspectors General of the departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Energy strongly recommend the reauthorization. Only with the legal structure in place can the U.S. exercise a legitimate leadership role to strengthen the multilateral export control regimes that seek to curb dangerous dual-use items.

In crafting a rewrite of the EAA, it is necessary to balance the conflicting interest of promoting exports and protecting our national security interest. As the Cox Committee recommends, the draft bill provides a framework that focuses more resources on the critical technology exports and fewer resources on those items that have a marginal benefit to our national security. The draft also recognizes that an item widely available from foreign sources or considered to have mass market status is already out of the box. These items should be decontrolled unless there is an overriding and exceptionally compelling national security interest at stake.

This draft is a work in progress. The Chairman has postponed the markup until after the July recess; however, we need your constructive recommendations immediately so we can find a way to accommodate your concerns. The draft bill will move forward and we will meet again with all of the stakeholders to address the concerns you might have. I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses and to hearing their unique insights.

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