Global Economics Monthly: Are U.S. and Japanese Technology Controls in Need of an Update?

Volume V, Issue 6, June 2016

The Simon Chair usually looks at how economic statecraft can help promote economic growth, open markets, and high standards. These are all issues of strategic interest to the United States, but sometimes the tools of economic statecraft have a more direct relationship to supporting national security. Earlier this year, the Simon Chair hosted a seminar supported by the Japan External Trade Relations Organization, which compared and assessed the effectiveness of U.S. and Japanese technology control regimes. Those who follow this space may remember a major bipartisan report released in 2009, which argued that globalization had rendered key parts of the U.S. system outdated; it concluded that controls meant to strengthen America’s national security and economic strength were undermining it. In the years since, the challenges facing the United States and its allies have grown, in particular as connectivity and competition between states to seize the “commanding heights” of the innovation economy have intensified. The Simon Chair seminar, which looked at export controls and national security investment review mechanisms, highlighted worrying gaps in both countries, as well as ambivalence over how technology controls can best promote national security in the twenty-first century.

David A. Parker