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Blog Category: BIS Under Secretary for Industry and Security Eric L. Hirschhorn

Under Secretary Hirschhorn Highlights Benefits of Export Control Reform for Small Businesses

Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Eric L. Hirschhorn today highlighted the significant progress of President Obama’s Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR) during a conference call with members of the National Small Business Association and its international trade arm, the Small Business Exporters Association.  ECR is aimed at bolstering national security and improving the system used by businesses for exporting sensitive items.  Small and medium-sized businesses stand to benefit from ECR’s emphasis on helping to improve the strength of the U.S. defense industrial base.

Hirschhorn told the group today that over the past four years, the Obama Administration has sought, through export control reform, to achieve greater regulatory efficiency and rationality and focus controls on the most significant items and destinations.

ECR encompasses defense and high technology commercial goods and technology.  A private industry study suggested that ECR could create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the long term. As ECR moves forward, BIS will continue to engage industry leaders, small business owners, and other stakeholders on these efforts to enhance national security, increase U.S. interoperability with allies, strengthen the American defense industrial base, and importantly, reduce unnecessary burdens, expenses, and red tape on American exporters.

BIS has an active outreach program of seminars, webinars, and teleconferences like today’s event, to assist exporters in understanding and complying with changes related to the ECR. The current schedule for seminars around the country is regularly updated on the BIS website.

July 2012 Marked the Hottest Month on Record for the Contiguous United States

Map highlighting July significant weather events

Drought expands to cover nearly 63 percent of the Lower 48; wildfires consume two million acres

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6°F, 3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and the hottest month on record for the nation. The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936 when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4°F. The warm July temperatures contributed to a record-warm first seven months of the year and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since recordkeeping began in 1895.

Precipitation totals were mixed during July, with the contiguous U.S. as a whole being drier than average. The nationally-averaged precipitation total of 2.57 inches was 0.19 inch below average. Near-record dry conditions were present for the middle of the nation, with the drought footprint expanding to cover nearly 63 percent of the Lower 48, according to the U.S. Drought MonitorSee full report

Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security Annual Update Conference Focuses on Export Control Reform

Conference logo

White House Chief of Staff and former Commerce Secretary William Daley delivered the keynote address to the Bureau of Industry and Security's 24th Annual Update Conference on Export Controls and Policy. Mr. Daley and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who also addressed the conference, both highlighted the administration’s continued priority for the Export Control Reform Initiative as a national security imperative.  In his remarks, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Eric Hirschhorn emphasized that the call for export reform by President Obama and Secretary Locke is real and long overdue.

 “The Obama administration’s commitment to export control reform reflects an overriding national security imperative. The current system—based on Cold War-era laws, policies, practices, and controls—is not responsive to current threats and emerging challenges of the twenty-first century. The administration launched ECR to rectify these shortcomings and to increase U.S. security and competitiveness.”

The annual Update Conference discusses reforms to the U.S. export control system that will strengthen national security and improve the competitiveness of key U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors.  White House statement