Eight US business associations, led by the aerospace industry, have formed a coalition to push for modernisation of the country's export controls, arguing that the current system harms trade and hurts allies. The Coalition for Security of Competitiveness is seeking an export control system that is "more efficient, predictable and transparent", writes Graham Warwick.

The aerospace industry has railed against the eccentricities of the US export control system for years, but this is the first time it has pushed for reform as part of a wider business coalition, says Mark Esper, Aerospace Industries Association executive vice-president of defence and international affairs.

"This is also the first time we have made specific recommendations - specific proposals that are reasonable, attainable and measurable," Esper says. The focus, he says, is process improvement that will help all of industry and the government, "not specific technologies or countries, which tends to be divisive".

The coalition is seeking a meeting with President Bush's administration and is hoping for action to modernise US export controls during his last two years in office. Bush tried to reform export controls during his first term in office, but the efforts petered out. "This time we see a greater chance of success," says Esper.

Source: Flight International