Chairman Mast, Ranking Member Crow, and other members of the subcommittee. Thank you for asking me to testify. I am happy to help the subcommittee with its oversight role however I can. Although I am now a partner in the international trade group at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and a non-resident Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, the views I express today are my own. I am not advocating for or against any potential changes to legislation or regulations on behalf of another. My views are influenced by my 30 years of work in the area, which includes my service as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration during both terms of the Obama Administration.
I. Summary of Recent BIS Actions and Their Policy Objectives
To help set the stage for this hearing, I will summarize the major export control actions the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), in coordination with the other export control agencies, has taken since the beginning of 2022. On the one hand, the changes are novel in that they focus on responding to strategic national security threats created by specific countries (i.e., China and Russia) as opposed to the more classical country-agnostic multilateral regime-based controls that are largely focused on dual-use items identified as having a more direct relationship to the development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction or conventional weapons. They also use a combination of novel (and quite complex) end-use, end-user, and extraterritorial controls. That is, even when basic commercial items or foreign-made items not normally subject to export controls are involved, the controls apply to activities by US persons and trade with specific foreign entities of concern.