Colloquy with Sen. Bennet on Export Controls Reform
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Mr. BENNET. Madam President, I rise to engage the chairman of the Armed Services Committee in a colloquy.
Mr. LEVIN. I would be happy to have a colloquy with the Senator from Colorado.
Mr. BENNET. Earlier this year, I introduced a bill that reforms export controls on satellites and their related items. Under the current law, satellites must be subject to the most restrictive export controls regardless of whether they are sensitive, militarily significant, or widely available outside of the U.S. This has both diminished our Nation's economic competitiveness and our national security. In fact, the State and Defense departments recently concluded that the "current law forces the U.S. Government to continue to protect commonly available satellites and related items on the USML, thus impeding the U.S. ability to work with partners and putting U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage, but providing no noticeable benefit to national security."
My bill reforms our export control laws so that the executive branch has the discretion to determine the appropriate level of export controls for satellites and related items. The executive branch currently has such discretion for all other types of items whether the item serves a military or a dual-use purpose. The bill also prohibits the transfer of such items to China, North Korea, and state sponsors of terrorism.
Last week, I filed an amendment to the defense authorization bill that mirrors my legislation. Senators Rubio, Warner, Mark Udall, and Cardin cosponsored the measure. While I had hoped to offer and pass our amendment, it is my understanding that the chairman intends to address these reforms in conference. Is my understanding correct?
Mr. LEVIN. I first want to thank the Senator from Colorado for his work on reforming our Nation's export control laws. The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act includes provisions addressing these issues. I support his efforts in this area and I intend to work with the House of Representatives to address these reforms in conference.
Mr. BENNET. I thank the chairman for his support and assurance.