At a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to weigh proposed changes to U.S. export policies, senior Democratic member Brad Sherman (CA) cited a March 19 letter from IAM President Tom Buffenbarger that raised concerns about outsourcing, technology transfers and the potential impact on domestic employment.
The hearing, “Export Control Reform: The Agenda Ahead” was held in response to efforts to shift oversight for the export of thousands of items from the State Department’s U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL). The IAM cautions that the move, without proper consideration, could result in further outsourcing of aircraft, aircraft engines and aerospace-related components. The move could also facilitate unwanted technology transfers to foreign countries, threatening U.S. jobs and national security.
“We firmly believe that any modification of export control policy must include a comprehensive review of how changes, including transferring items to the CCL, will impact U.S. employment and suppliers in the exceedingly important aerospace and related industries,” wrote Buffenbarger is his letter. “The last thing our government should be promoting is the offshoring of defense and commercial industries, especially to the detriment of U.S. employment and our defense industrial base.”
In a refreshingly testy exchange with Commerce Department officials, Rep. Sherman repeatedly cited IAM concerns over domestic employment and technology transfers and called for a guarantee that any change to export policy not be to the detriment of U.S. employment and the defense industrial base.