In terms of the evolution of the United States’ theory on exports, Stage I refers to COCOM, which was created in 1949. COCOM consisted of the United States, Canada, Japan, Western Europe, and a few other cold war allies to form a multilateral organization to cooperate in controlling exports against the Soviet Union. Stage II refers to the Export Administration Act of 1979 (EAA), which was promulgated by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. This act promoted the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which applied to the export and reexport of all commercial and dual-use items.
The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) governs the export of defense services and articles such as munitions and arms. This act is administered according to administered according to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This act is under the branch of the U.S. Department of State, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls).
A dual use product is a product that is used for more than one purpose and subsequently needs a license. In some instances, a dual-use product may have a dangerous second use. For example, a dual-use product is a steel pipe, which could be an ordinary pipe for plumbing purposes or a pipe bomb for violent means. Therefore, the U.S. wants to filter exports according to intent. Export controls are put in place for three primary reasons: national security, foreign policy, and the protection of products in short-supply.
Commodities of military refer to products that can be used as a weapon against the United States. For example, commodities include oil, natural gas, steel, iron, plastic, coal, copper, and silver. The goods may appear to have a common use; however, they can be used against the U.S. as a weapon. Commodities are the products that “raise the red flag” in terms of a dangerous second use. Non-commodities, such as cookies and jeans, are less suspicious and easier to export in terms of regulations.
Under the U.S. Department of Commerce, the International Trade Administration (ATA) regulates imports; whereas, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). These two agencies work together in order to secure national security. The mission of the BIS is to advance United States’ national security and foreign policy interests. Activities of the BIS include regulating exports of sensitive goods and technology, promote federal initiatives to protect national critical infrastructures, enforce export controls, and enforce boycott and public safety laws.
The Commerce Control List (CCL) is a list of countries the U.S. is concerned with respect to exports. In terms of identifying an item on the CCL, there are ten general categories the item may fall in: 0 – nuclear materials, facilities, and equipment; 1 – materials, chemicals, microorganisms, and toxins; 2 – materials processing; 3 – electronics; 4 – computers; 5 – telecommunications and information security; 6 – sensors and lasers; 7 – navigation and avionics; 8 – marine; and 9 – propulsion systems, space vehicle, and related equipment. In addition, there are 5 product groups: A – System, Equipment and Components; B –