US Debates Export Regulation Changes
The US Senate voted last month to rewrite export control laws related to military/commercial dual-use technology, possibly making it easier for photonics companies to sell "mass market" products abroad.
The 1979 Export Administration Act restricted the export of various potentially military-related high-technology products, including some industrial lasers and other photonic devices. Many photonics companies have run afoul of the act in recent years (see "Export Rules Hinder Photonics' Commercialization Efforts," January 1999).
Senate Bill 149 would relax restrictions on mass market items but would give the President more authority to block exports that could threaten national security. It would also increase criminal and civil penalties.
The measure has gone to the House for consideration.
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