Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Note analyzes the EAAA and the administrative regulations it subsequently engendered; it also evaluates their success as of February 1987 in easing the burden of export controls and improving security over United States technological assets. In addition, it considers several complex issues at the heart of export control that Congress fails to address in the EAAA and the consequences of legislative silence in the national security area. Finally, it proposes changes in export control administration and policy that Congress should consider before the EAA comes up for reauthorization in September 1989.

Section II examines the development of United States export regulation since World War II and the growing awareness during the past decade of the significance of exports for the United States economy. Section III explains the framework of United States export regulations established by the EAA of 1979. Section IV discusses how the EAAA eliminates controls on low technology items sold to allied nations, speeds administration of export licenses, and upgrades the effectiveness of the Coordinating Committee on Export Controls (COCOM) which coordinates multilateral export controls. Section IV also examines congressional efforts to limit the President's use of export controls for foreign policy purposes. Section V concerns Congressional efforts to strengthen enforcement of United States export controls by enhancing COCOM, defining new crimes, imposing tougher sanctions and increasing enforcement authority. Section VI addresses four volatile issues that Congress either deliberately ignored or only partially addressed in its efforts to pass the EAAA: the extraterritorial impact of United States export controls, the sanctity of existing contracts when Congress imposes embargoes, the role of the Department of Defense in export policy, and the imposition of sanctions against South Africa. In leaving these issues unresolved, Congress ceded effective control of United States exports to the executive branch and undermined the structures that ostensibly regulate United States commerce abroad. Finally, this Note recommends four modifications to the export administration structure in order to reduce impediments to United States exporters not remedied by the EAAA.