The Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG), a body established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to advise the Department of State on issues relevant to defense trade, held its fall plenary meeting at the State Department October 20. A key focus of the plenary was the Obama Administration’s Export Control Reform Initiative.
In his opening remarks to the participants, Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro commented on the importance of the initiative, saying that, “We must provide the men and women of our armed forces and those of our allies with the best technology available to counter shared security challenges, while preventing it from falling into the hands of our adversaries. In doing so, we must find the right balance between protecting technology against diversion and facilitating the legitimate transactions of U.S. companies.” During the plenary, DTAG Working Groups reported on the results of their initial efforts to reformat several categories of the State Department controlled U.S. Munitions List, one of several reforms under the Export Control Reform Initiative.
Assistant Secretary Shapiro also highlighted improvements in the Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) process, noting “Our response times have decreased from an average of 196 days in 2006 to just 41 days today, despite a doubled caseload in the last three years from 412 to 817.” Electronic submission and dissemination of CJ requests, which began in the first week of September, may result in even more timely responses to the industry.
The DTAG advises the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on its support for and regulation of defense trade to help ensure that impediments to legitimate exports are reduced while the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States continue to be protected and advanced in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act.
DTAG members are appointed by the Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs on the basis of individual substantive and technical expertise and qualifications, and are drawn from a representative cross-section of the U.S. defense industry, including association, academic, and foundation personnel, as well as appropriate technical and military experts.
For more information of DTAG, please visit http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/dtag/index.html.