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Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 22, 2008

President Issues Export Controls Directive to Reform U.S. Defense Trade Policies and Practices

President Bush issued an Export Control Directive today that will ensure that U.S. defense trade policies and practices better support the National Security Strategy of the United States. The package of reforms required under this directive will improve the manner in which the U.S. Department of State licenses the export of defense equipment, services and technical data, enabling the U.S. Government to respond more expeditiously to the military equipment needs of our friends, allies, and particularly our coalition partners.

The Export Control Directive mandates the commitment of additional financial and other resources, as well as procedural reforms, that will expedite the processing of export license applications for items controlled by the U.S. Munitions List. Although license processing times will be reduced as a result of this directive, the Administration is committed to ensuring that existing measures to prevent the diversion of such items to unauthorized recipients remain strong and effective.

The specific actions directed by the President include:

More Effective U.S. Export Licensing

  • Additional financial resources and intelligence support will be made available for the timely adjudication of defense trade licenses.
  • Guidelines will be issued that require a decision by the U.S. Government on defense trade export license applications within 60 days, absent a strong reason for additional time, such as a requirement for Congressional notification. Initial efforts in this regard have resulted in a nearly 50 percent reduction since April 2007 in the number of export license applications pending with the Department of State.
  • The electronic licensing system will be upgraded to permit the submission of all types of defense trade licenses and to enable all agencies to access the same electronic information.
  • The Secretary of State will update U.S. controls on exports involving dual and third country nationals from NATO and other allied countries.

A More Efficient Dispute Resolution Mechanism

  • A formal interagency dispute mechanism will be created to allow for timely resolution of licensing jurisdiction issues involving the Departments of State and Commerce under the Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) process. The National Security Council will also undertake a review to make sure the CJ process is efficient and timely.

Enhanced Enforcement

  • A multi-agency working group will be established to improve procedures for conducting export enforcement investigations.

The directive reflects consensus recommendations from the National Security Council and the Departments of State and Defense. The Bush Administration is committed to working closely with U.S. industry to implement these reforms.


Released on January 22, 2008

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