|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Wednesday, February 14, 2001||202-224-0894|
Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today at a full committee hearing on S.149, the Export Administration Act of 2001. The bill, introduced Jan. 23, would provide the legal framework for the executive branch to implement export controls on non-military items for both national security and foreign policy reasons.
"I want to thank our two witnesses today. These are two people who have rendered great service to this country and who are probably the two leading experts on the issue we have before us, export administration.
"Our first witness is Dr. John Hamre. Many of us know him from the old days as the senior staffer of the Armed Services Committee. He is now president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is a former Deputy Secretary of Defense and he is now conducting a study on this very subject.
"Our second witness is Dr. Donald A. Hicks. He is chairman of Hicks and Associates. He is a former Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and he was chairman of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Globalization and Security.
"I think, in terms of export administration, there are hardly two people in America who could have given us as educated a testimony as I look forward to receiving today.
"There is an apparent conflict in the goals that America has. We want to dominate the world in high technology. We want to do the research. We want to provide cutting-edge products on the world market, and we want to dominate the world market in those products.
"At the same time, we are the principal guard at the gate in terms of the security of the world. We are the protector of freedom on the planet, so we have concerns about powerful technology getting into the wrong hands.
"I think, to be honest with ourselves, we have to say there is, at least at the margins, a conflict in these two goals. The bill that we have put together over several years of effort, with input not only from members of the Banking Committee, but input from many witnesses and many members of other committees, is really an effort to deal with this conflict.
"The bill is based on a few simple principles. First, if something is mass marketed, it may be very powerful; it may be that you would wish that the number of theoretical calculations per second that a computer will make would not grow so fast and that the machines wouldn't proliferate because they have military usage and potential.
"The number of MTOPs is doubling every six months, and no law we pass can or should stop that from happening. So the first thing we try to do in our bill is to say that those things that are mass marketed, those things that are sold on the world market, while they may have defense implications, there's nothing we can do about it, so they ought to be decontrolled.
"Our bill also sets out the mechanism for building a higher fence around the things that we can control. We ought to have an effective process of analysis of what those things are. We ought to strengthen the individual departments in terms of the potential for objecting to an export on national security grounds, and we ought to have very stiff penalties for people who knowingly and willingly violate the law.
"Finally, there is a change we have made in the bill, which I think is justified and which I think the president already has the power to do under the Constitution: Despite a process that we have set out for systematic evaluation, at the end of the process, if the president of the United States decides that he want to control an export for national security reasons, he has the right to do that. That right cannot be delegated to anybody else. It has to be made on an individual item, and the president has to be answerable for it, but he has that power.
"That is a summary of our bill. I would say in recognizing Senator Enzi, that I have been in the Senate now for 16 years, and I have never seen anyone get as personally involved in an issue as he has with export administration. I've never seen a senator who has gone and attended meetings of agencies to try to figure out how they work. I've never seen anybody with that hands-on approach, and I want to say I'm an admirer of that approach.
"This is Senator Enzi's bill, and I intend to be there this year when the president signs this bill into law, standing right next to Senator Enzi. I intend to see him handed the first pen. I intend to get my pen, but I intend for him to get the first one."