A press release from Congressman Don Manzulo:
Manzullo Urges Administration to Expedite Risk Assessment on U.S. Satellite Exports
Final report needed to let Congress pursue job-creating export control reforms
[WASHINGTON] – Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), a leader on export control reforms in Congress, today urged the Obama Administration to expedite a required risk assessment on U.S. satellite exports so Congress can lift export restrictions and allow more sales of non-sensitive satellites overseas, creating more American jobs.
Manzullo, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia & the Pacific, participated in a hearing of the full Foreign Affairs Committee today exploring export control reforms.
Manzullo is the lead Republican sponsor of legislation (HR 3288) that would lift excessive export controls from the U.S. manufacturers of commercial satellites and components so they can sell more of their products overseas and create more American jobs.
The Safeguarding United States Satellite Leadership and Security Act of 2011, sponsored by Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA), would restore the President’s ability to determine what export restrictions should apply to commercial satellites and related components.
It would also prohibit any such exports to China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, or Cuba.
The legislation is part of Manzullo’s American Jobs Agenda.
But before Congress can take action on HR 3288, the U.S. Departments of Defense and State must finalize a risk assessment of U.S. space export control policy that was ordered by Congress in Section 1248 of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act.
The main purpose of this report is to assess the risks of removing satellites and related components from the USML (U.S. Munitions List) to the less restrictive Department of Commerce Control List (CCL). The May 2011 Interim Report to Congress not only concluded that transferring commercial communications satellites from the USML to the CCL would not pose an “unacceptable security risk,” but recommended that action.
“We need the Administration to send Congress the final Section 1248 report so that we can act on H.R. 3288 as soon as possible,” Manzullo said.
In 1998, in the wake of revelations that two American companies provided unlicensed technical assistance to China’s space launch program, Congress mandated that all U.S. satellites and components be licensed as weapons under the USML, severely hampering exports of American-made commercial satellites even to our closest allies.
This action was intended to safeguard U.S. satellite technology from reaching China and deny them the ability to launch foreign commercial satellites; in 1999, all foreign commercial satellites had U.S. components, which allowed the U.S. to forbid their launch by Chinese rockets.
U.S. share of the global market for complete satellite purchases dropped from 75 percent in 1995 to an average of about 41 percent since the shift of export licensing jurisdiction to the U.S. Munitions List (USML) under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) controlled by the State Department.
“The U.S. remains the only country that controls commercial satellite exports as if they were armaments – by statute,” Manzullo said. “HR 3288 is needed to bolster both our national and economic security and give our satellite manufacturers an opportunity to sell again on a level playing field.”
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Satellite from Andrew Gassers’ TEA Party in Space.