THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Aboard Air Force One)
For Immediate Release November 13, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today I have signed into law H.R. 5239, which reauthorizes the Export
Administration Act of 1979 (EAA) until August 20, 2001.
Reauthorization and revision of the EAA is long overdue. The EAA is a
Cold War statute and its authorities lapsed on August 20, 1994. Since the
end of the Cold War, there has been a strong need for a modern export
control law that will provide U.S. businesses an updated legal framework in
which to operate. This revised Act must recognize the current realities of
a fast-paced highly competitive global market and at the same time help
ensure our national security by controlling the export of sensitive
dual-use items that have military and nonmilitary applications. My
Administration proposed such a revision back in 1994. Despite several
efforts, the Congress has not yet been able to pass a new revised Act.
In reauthorizing the EAA on a short-term basis, the Congress has taken
a small but significant step. Reauthorizing the EAA will overcome the
legal challenges now being made to the Department of Commerce's continued
operation of its export control system under the International Emergency
Economic Powers Act after the lapse of the EAA. In particular, the
reauthorization confirms the Department's ability to keep export licensing
information obtained during the lapse of the EAA from public disclosure,
which is a critical part of the Department's export control system and
protects sensitive business information and commercial interests of U.S.
exporters. The Congress' actions have reaffirmed the view of the executive
branch in this matter -- that confidential treatment of export licensing
information is continuous regardless of whether the EAA is in a lapse
period. The reauthorization of the EAA also reaffirms that the Congress
must abide by statutory limitations on public disclosure of such
While a comprehensive revision of the Export Administration Act is
necessary, this reauthorization of the EAA is a needed short-term step.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 13, 2000.
# # #