Industry Urges DoC to Adopt Narrow Tech Export Controls

In response to the Department of Commerce exploring new export restrictions for emerging technology, industry organizations stressed that export controls should be narrowly tailored to national security concerns, and not used to accomplish trade policy.

“We urge the U.S. government to take a measured and deliberate approach to this rulemaking. Unduly broad restrictions will harm technological development in the U.S. and will be counterproductive to U.S national security,” said the Internet Association in its comments.

The organization called on Commerce to offer more detailed rules for public comment, account for how export controls would impact development, and use a multilateral approach.

Those sentiments were echoed by comments from BSA | The Software Alliance. The organization asserted that software does not fall under the category of emerging technologies, and therefore cannot be restricted with export controls. In its recommendations, the trade group offered its own definition of emerging technology, and called on government to “adopt license exceptions to ensure that the internal development processes of US companies are not disrupted.”

In line with other major industry groups, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) called for Commerce to be cautious in imposing export controls in its comments.

“ITI and its member companies support the national security goals of the U.S. government. At the same time, overly-broad unilateral control of technologies will result in limiting U.S. companies’ global competitiveness and their ability to lead in the development of core technologies,” the comments note.

ITI suggested that national security objectives be defined, export controls be “tailored to meet essential national security objectives,” avoid controls on established technologies, and not use export controls for trade policy.

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