U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2004 > February

Remarks at the Roll-Out of D-Trade: The New PM/DDTC Electronic Licensing System

Secretary Colin L. Powell
PM/DDTC Conference Room-H-1204 SA-1 (Columbia Plaza)
Washington, DC
February 18, 2004

2:00 p.m. EST

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. Good afternoon, everybody.

(Secretary and Deputy Secretary display Assistant Secretary Bloomfield’s bio in information package).

Oh, that's me. Loyalty of the troops.


Folks, this is a very great day for us here in PM/DDTC. It's a great day for two important reasons:

Number one, we've got some folks who have worked here for an awful long time, and not a one of them can remember when the Secretary of State has ever graced the presence of the licensing office -- when it was the Office of Munitions Control; when it was in Roslyn; here in Columbia Plaza. So you've really honored us by coming down and saying hi to everybody. And to Deputy Secretary Armitage, as well, we're very grateful for your presence.

It's also a great day because we're inaugurating paperless capability, fully electronic licensing. And those piles you saw were not just the quick little license on top, but all the supporting documentation. All of that can now be fired in electronically, worked through the interagency and the State Department referral offices and kicked back to the contractor or the exporter electronically.

We'll give you a little demo in just a split second.

Now, from the outset of this Administration, we've talked about making licensing faster, simpler and more "user-friendly," a familiar phrase. This is what's going to get us there. If we could say “yes” to every application, you wouldn't need an Office of Defense Trade Licensing. So what this will really do is let us say “yes” or “no” in a more timely and effective manner.

Now, to get to this day and to get this capability was no small accomplishment. I just want to take a moment and thank a few people. There is a lot of credit to go around.

We'd like to thank the Department's CIO, Bruce Morrison, and his team for their excellent assistance. We'd like to thank OMB's Office of E-Government and Information Technology. The Office of the Inspector General at the State Department has been helpful to us. There are a number of companies -- I believe 18 companies, large and small, participated in our pilot project last year for six months. The Defense Trade Advisory Group, which is our federal advisory panel, to PM, has been quite helpful. The Society for International Affairs, SIA, is helping us to get the word out so that people can be trained on how to use the system. Our contractor, Northrup Grumman has been quite helpful.

And now for some really big “atta-boys.” I want to thank Assistant Secretary Paula DeSutter. She has got an IT team, VC/VO, headed by Glen Johnson, who has done just a spectacular job. We would not be here today without Paula's team. And I thank you personally, Paula, for this great credit.

I want to thank Deputy Secretary Armitage, who although I have a few bruises to show for it, the BPP process has imposed some yearly discipline on what resources we need and what uses we put them to. And I want to thank you, sir.

I want to thank Under Secretary Green, Chris Burnham, and all of your team for helping to resource this office and make us the healthy office that we are today.

Finally, I'd like to thank Secretary Powell, who has made us all aim high in using information technology so that we can focus ourselves on better management, and ultimately making sure that everything we do is advancing the foreign policy goals of the United States.

So without further ado, let me introduce all of us to our leader, our boss, Secretary Powell.



Well, thank you very much, Linc. It's a great pleasure for me, and I think I can speak for Rich, to be with you today for this roll-out of the D-Trade program. D-Trade is the first entirely paperless, most user-friendly and security-sensitive defense technology export licensing system ever created.

Rich and I are not new to this game. Twenty years ago, in the Pentagon, we remember how things used to be and how long it took to get something through the process. And we're pleased no longer to be at that end of the system, but to be at this end of the system, not that we have any regrets about our service in the Pentagon many years ago, but to be at this end of the system and to help pull things through more quickly, more efficiently, is, frankly, a great pleasure to participate in such an activity.

D-Trade is important because it’s one of many moving parts within the U.S. national security system. And all the parts matter because every part relates, obviously, to the whole.

D-Trade is also part of the president’s management agenda, which aims to advance effective government through e-government. This initiative is dear to my heart. One of my priorities here at State, as Linc has noted earlier, was to make sure that we are in 21st century time and movement.

We last week got rid of -- at least I got a certificate certifying that we got rid of it -- I wasn't there when they burned it.


But we got rid of the last Wang computer in the State Department, believe it or not.


When they told me that, I said, "When did we get rid of the last Wang computer in the State Department?" And it was only last November.

But it shows you how far we have come over the last three years, to the point where we have broadband capability throughout the Department, and with that broadband capability we've been able to put 44,250-odd computers at stations all around the world, to speed things up -- but not just to speed things up, but to use this new technology to change the way we do business.

If it's just a matter of speeding up old processes, if it's just a matter of doing old business in a faster way, that's not enough. We have to change the way in which we do business, and that is certainly what we're planning to do with D-Trade.

We've come a long way in this past three-year period, as Linc has noted, and thanks to Grant Green and Bruce Morrison, Susi Mong, David Ames, Ambassador Jim Holmes, and many others. I just want to extend my thanks to each and every one of you.

And as we roll our D-Trade, let me acknowledge, especially, Assistant Secretary Linc Bloomfield for having taken field command of this operation. I know that Linc will recognize several others, not just before introducing me, but will be giving thanks to many others after this ceremony. But I join with Linc and with the Deputy Secretary in thanking all of you for your splendid work.

To protect the American people, our allies and our friends, our armed forces need and they have the best technologies available. A crucial part of national security, however, is insuring that those who wish us ill do not posses those same technologies.

Overseeing the defense trade is a big part of how we gain that insurance, but it's a task that's becoming harder and more complex by the day.

It's harder than ever to distinguish between technologies that have military applications and those that do not.

It's harder than ever to know which subcomponents within complicated machines can be reverse-engineered for nefarious purposes.

And it's a big job, too. In 2003, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls adjudicated almost 57,000 cases for more than 4300 registrants concerning trade that was worth more than $95 billion. That's big business.

These days, when the crossing of trend lines between military technologies and terrorism poses such a major threat to our security, we can't afford a high error rate. We can't afford an error rate at all, if it can be avoided, in controlling defense trade.

D-Trade harnesses information technology to freeze our error rate down as close to absolute zero as is possible, to keep U.S. weapons and military technology away from our enemies.

At the same time, D-Trade will help us get selected technologies into the hands of allies and friends. And it will help make our defense industry more efficient in providing our armed forces with the weapons and with the tools they need to be successful on the battlefield.

A smarter and faster licensing process is important to our allies and to U.S. business, its workers, communities and shareholders alike. Indeed, we wouldn't be here today without industry's help in making D-Trade user-friendly.

And only continued industry support can make D-Trade fully effective because the process has to start with the applicant. But we're confident of that support because D-Trade works and it is in the interest of industry to work with us.

Although it's only been up and running since the 15th of January, the Department's e-government advisory group recently rated D-Trade already as on-time and on-target, for both delivery and for performance.

We don't have much data yet on processing times, but we expect those times to drop significantly.

We also expect more error-resistant processing and easier tracking, and we expect the cost savings associated with both of these to be rather significant in terms of both time saved and money saved.

But most important, D-Trade will improve national security and it will do so in three ways.

First, by making the processing of routine cases more efficient. Those responsible, as a result, for scrutinizing applications will have more time to focus on the tough cases.

Second, D-Trade will support criminal prosecutions and civil proceedings against violations of export law. That will reinforce the directorate credo that strong compliance is good business.

And third, D-Trade with make this directorate's cooperation with colleagues in the Defense and Commerce Departments that much more effective.

This directorate is a strong team, forged from members of the foreign service, the civil service, the uniformed military, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as contractors with a rich diversity of professional backgrounds. All 120 of you who work in this shop bear a heavy responsibility for national security.

And you guys really do know national security. Among you are 32 veterans, reservists and active duty personnel.

Colonel Larry Naylor received a Bronze Star in Afghanistan.

Yolanda Gantlin's husband recently served in the Persian Gulf. Two of your colleagues are reservists currently on active duty.

But as far as I'm concerned, you're all on active duty. And every day, when you show up here for work, I hope you think of yourselves as mission critical personnel of the U.S. Government and of the Department of State.

So today isn't graduation day for D-Trade, it's just commencement, the beginning. We are here not only to launch D-Trade, but to rededicate ourselves to using defense trade controls as a potent tool to advance national security and our strategic objectives as well.

And finally, I want you all to know that over here at Columbia Plaza you should never feel cut off from 2201 C Street. I think of you guys often. I not only know that you're over here, I thank my lucky stars as Secretary of State, as a former soldier, as an old infantryman and as an American citizen, I'm proud to know that you're over here serving your nation so proudly, serving the Department so well.

I wish that Rich and I could get around to every single one of the many offices we have in town every day to pat you on the back, shake your hand, and say thank you. That proves to be impossible, with all the other things that we have to do. But I don't want any one of you to think that we're not thinking of you, when every day at 5 o'clock when Rich and I and Grant Green and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, we all assemble in my office, and we talk about a little bit of policy and we talk about a little bit of what's happening in the world, and we do a little bit of gossiping, we tell a few jokes and stories -- and I won't repeat any here this afternoon.

But we spend most of that last hour of the working day talking about the people who work for us and what we have to do to give you the tools that you need to do your job. We are committed to your welfare. We are committed to giving you the tools that you need to do your job. D-Trade is an example of that. And I just want to let you know that Rich, myself, Grant, Marc, Paula, all the rest of us, Linc and his little team, are enormously proud of the service that you give to the American people and to our beloved nation every single day.

So thank you very much, and congratulation to D-Trade and to your leader, Linc Bloomfield.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: Sir, I just want to bring to your attention some of the stars of this bureau. You've met already the Director for Management, Mike Dixon. I didn't tell you that he's also the 2003 PM Officer of the Year.

SECRETARY POWELL: Congratulations.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: And Mike is responsible very much for rolling this out.

I'd like to introduce Ned Williams, who is one of our IT stars from VC/VO, along with Ruth Jackson, who is the team chief of one of our licensing offices. Ruth and Ned are just going to stand here and show you a little bit about this. It'll just take a couple of minutes.



ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: You might find this interesting. If you want to actually launch this license, why don't we ask you to let Ruth brief you.


MR. WILLIAMS: Secretary Powell, this is the old paper license application with six collated copies. Today, we want to show you the new D-Trade Electronic License System. I'm very proud to represent all the experts that built this system, who leveraged all of our existing resources and pushed technology to the limit in order to develop a system that could acquire, validate and process digitally signed forms and attachments for license applications. It was a very demanding challenge, but we did it, and we did it on time and at cost.

And now Ruth Jackson will walk you through the internal processing of a license application and offer you an opportunity to approve an electronic license.


MS. JACKSON: Secretary Powell, Deputy Secretary Armitage, Assistant Secretary Bloomfield and honored guests, what you see before you here is an export license application submitted through the D-Trade Electronic Licensing System from ABCD Vision, Inc., for the export of one pair of Generation Three Night-Vision Goggles to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense.

What you do not see is the support documentation submitted electronically with this license, consisting of purchase order, technical descriptive literature, end user end use information. It replaces this paper license here and the need to have seven collated copies of the support documentation.

Another unique feature of the D-Trade system is that every export license application that is submitted through the system is filtered through a watch list. The watch list is a compilation of names of persons who are ineligible to contract with, who have been convicted of violating the Arms Export Control Act, and the names of the persons are also foreign persons and domestic.

This feature here is a hold feature, and this is the feature that the licensing officer will look at to see if this export license application successfully navigated the watch list. In this case, our export license application successfully navigated the watch list because no names were found from it. If it had yes on the feature here, then the license would be placed on hold, and then the licensing officer would be instructed to go to our compliance and enforcement branch for further adjudication or further instructions on how to adjudicate the license. The licensing officer also would be unable to issue this license to the applicant.

The export of Generation Three Night-Vision Goggles requires that we send a copy of the export license application to our colleagues at the Department of Defense. In this case, the licensing officer would see this portion of the screen. As you can see, there's the Department of Defense and there are other agencies outside of the State Department, and geographical regional desks, that the license application can be sent to electronically. And now the license is sent over to the Department of Defense.

For purposes of this demonstration, we'll say that our colleagues at the Department of Defense have no objection to the export of the night-vision goggles to the UK Ministry of Defense. The licensing officer will review the comeback from the Department of Defense, which will be sent to him or her electronically, and now they are in the position to decide whether or not this license application should be issued to the applicant.

Secretary Powell, would you like the honor of approving this -- (laughter) -- export license application for the export of Generation Three Night-Vision Goggles?


MS. JACKSON: If you press this button, sir.

(The Secretary presses the button.)

MS. JACKSON: Congratulations.


SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much.


MR. JACKSON: You have successfully approved this export license application.

As you can see here, your name is not there, sir -- (laughter) -- and my name is there because this is a secured system, and only persons who have applied for a digital certificate -- (laughter) --

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: I'm sure my name is there. (Laughter.)

MS. JACKSON: -- will have access to the system. This license will be sent to the applicant electronically.


MS. JACKSON: Thank you, sir.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much. Does it go up on a CD-ROM or can it come down the ALLDIS?

MR. WILLIAMS: It comes over the Internet. It's secured with PKI encryption.

SECRETARY POWELL: Good. Excellent.

MR. WILLIAMS: We'll be accepting files up to 100 megabytes in size so far.

SECRETARY POWELL: That’s incredible.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: And we've got a CD-ROM with instructions that will be issued soon all over the country, so people can learn how to use it correctly. Teams going out around the country.

SECRETARY POWELL: And you continue to do paper?


SECRETARY POWELL: After how long do you think --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: I think we have to be able to process paper for every --

SECRETARY POWELL: A year or two?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: -- every “mom and pop”. They don't have to use this, so we will be able to do paper.

SECRETARY POWELL: What do you project?

MR. WILLIAMS: A very small number. There are a number of exceptions that the licensing team have told me about, individuals wanting to go on hunting trips, for instance, they may or may not invest in the capability to do D-Trade.

However, the certificate that they use for security can be used with other federal agencies. We leveraged off of the Federal Bridge architecture so that the same certificate that they use for D-Trade will be used for Social Security, Health and Human Services, IRS and other places. So, eventually, everyone will have this type of security system that we'll use for signing our name, then they could easily -- there's no cost, there's no additional cost to use D-Trade.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much.

MR. WILLIAMS: Thank you, sir.

MS. JACKSON: Thank you.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thanks very much, everyone.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY BLOOMFIELD: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.




2004/176 (revised)

Released on February 20, 2004

  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.