Vol. 10 No. 1 | 2023 Edition
If the first rule of export control regulation is to define clearly the problem to be solved, the second, with some exceptions, is to ensure that the rule is both effective and not counterproductive. By “effective,” I mean that the rule actually stops or hinders the end users of concern from getting the items at issue from any source. My reference to “not counterproductive” means ensuring that foreign competitors of U.S. companies do not gain outsized advantages in markets to which U.S. firms no longer have access thanks to export controls. The income gained in these instances could allow the foreign competitors to out-innovate, out-compete, or even displace entirely the U.S. company. The exceptions pertain to situations where the U.S. should impose a unilateral control to express objection to and not otherwise support human rights violations or move quickly when the issue to be addressed is urgent, particularly if there is a threat to the warfighter. In both cases, the point remains that the eventual adoption of multilateral or plurilateral controls will make them more effective.
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