WASHINGTON DC - Representative Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today hailed the inclusion of a provision in the conference agreement for the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that will help restore America’s global competitiveness in high-tech satellite technology, while also protecting vital U.S. national security interests. This action culminates a decade of effort by Rep. Berman to accomplish this goal.
“This provision will restore the President’s ability to move satellites and related items from the U.S. Munitions List to the dual-use Commerce Control List, while prohibiting the export of such items to China, North Korea and States Sponsors of Terrorism, including Syria and Iran,” Berman stated.
This legislation incorporates the substance of Mr. Berman’s bill, H.R. 3288, the “Safeguarding United States Satellite Leadership and Security Act”, which he introduced with Don Manzullo, Adam Smith, Dutch Ruppersberger, Rob Bishop, Martin Heinrich, Mike Coffman, and Gerry Connolly last November. With the support of Armed Services Ranking Member Smith, Armed Services Chairman McKeon and Foreign Affairs Chairman Ros-Lehtinen, it was included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
“This agreement will help restore America’s global competitiveness in high-tech satellite technology, while also protecting vital U.S. national security interests,” Berman said. “Treating commercial satellites and components as if they were lethal weapons, regardless of whether they’re going to friend or foe, has gravely harmed U.S. space manufacturers. U.S. national security depends upon these manufacturers for our own defense needs; if they can’t compete in the international marketplace due to onerous restrictions, they can’t innovate and cannot survive.”
“I thank the conferees - Senators Levin and McCain, and Representatives McKeon and Smith - and especially the efforts of Senators Lugar and Kerry and Representative Ros-Lehtinen, for this landmark agreement to restore America international edge in civil satellite technology and exports.