President Barack Obama announced plans this week to loosen export regulations and consolidate the agencies governing them.
The move supports the president’s effort to double U.S. exports, and is a win for technology manufacturers, many of whom expect the new rules could produce billions of dollars in new sales.
Three agencies oversee U.S. export controls and cover tens of thousands of products and services, many of which conflict with one another.
Current regulations cover military products whose export is restricted for security reasons – things the United States has a vested interest in protecting. Some of the technologies on the ban list, however, are not directly critical to national security.
“Decisions were delayed, sometimes for years, and industries lost their edge or moved abroad,” Obama said.
Under the new rules, over a third of the products will be less restricted. Companies producing defense materials, aerospace, or other technologies stand to benefit the most from the looser restrictions.
Initial revision proposals and consolidation of the lists to a single database will begin by the end of the year. There are also plans to launch an Export Enforcement Coordination Center to begin enforcing the new rules.