U.S. Needs an Export Control System that Reflects Realities of the Commercial Marketplace, Lockheed Martin Executive Tells Senate Committee
BETHESDA, MD, June 24th, 1999 -- The current U.S. export control regime dealing with commercial communications satellites endangers our long term national security interests and undermines our international competitiveness, Lockheed Martin executive Thomas A. Corcoran told a Senate subcommittee today. Testifying before the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Corcoran said he believed the U.S. needs to rebuild consensus on what constitutes national security, and then craft an export control system that reflects that consensus. Corcoran is president and chief operating officer of Lockheed Martin's Space and Strategic Missiles Sector. The Subcommittee held hearings on the impact of U.S. export control policy and regulation on the business and competitiveness of the U.S. satellite and launch industries.
Corcoran said that Lockheed Martin's business objectives are to compete effectively and be a reliable supplier of commercial space goods and services in the rapidly changing global market, and to advance to U.S. national security. "I strongly believe that our country's economic security is integral to national security. Indeed, our military strength depends upon the economic viability, competitiveness and technological leadership of the private sector."
Corcoran testified that the average amount of time to receive a satellite license in the past was two-to-three months. "Now it could take six months or longer," he said. Such delays are not acceptable to international satellite customers, he told the Committee.
Calling for an export control system that reflects the realities of the global marketplace, Corcoran cited a number of critical licensing factors that are essential if the American commercial satellite and launch business is to remain competitive in the international arena. According to Corcoran, the licensing process must be:
*Timely and deadline-driven, by establishing a review process with specific timelines and accountability for meeting companies' manufacturing cycle, bid and contract delivery requirements. *Transparent and predictable, by establishing a clear system of intra- and interagency review. *Discriminating, by establishing an expedited review process for exports to US allies while reserving additional time for exports to certain countries where the potential military use of satellites requires special scrutiny. *Fair, by establishing a review process and criteria appropriate for items that are primarily civilian and commercial end-use, with possible military application, yet sufficiently flexible to allow for common-sense determinations. *Closure oriented, whereby decision is the ultimate goal. *Effective, by ensuring adequate staff and resources to establish an export control system with all the above qualities.
Corcoran closed by saying that the U.S. jeopardizes its national security and technological edge when industry loses exports to foreign competition. "Our policies must recognize that global competitors also have world-class capabilities," he added.