Challenging the Entity List

Print edition : January 30, 1999

QUESTIONING the lawfulness of the expanded Entity List (EL) and the appropriateness of its application, a company named in the EL has lodged a complaint with Sharon Cook, Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Export Administration (BXA), Department of Commerce, Washington D.C. The complaint makes the following points:

1. The Export Administration Act expired on August 20, 1994, and has been kept alive through a series of Executive Orders under the International Emergency Powers Act. However, this does not provide the necessary authority to the President and the BXA to expand the EL in the manner proposed.

2. The proposed list is unprecedented in its coverage, breadth and scope. It is overinclusive, including entities (such as this company) that have nothing to do with proliferation activities, and who deal in completely unrelated products and services.

3. Stringent export controls for dual-use items have been in place even prior to May 13, 1998 which adequately address U.S. security concerns. There is no place, or need, for any additional (and such pervasive) controls.

4. The expanded EL is not related to generally recognisable security concerns and it only represents an effort to legitimatise otherwise indefensible U.S. restrictions on trade. Consequently, the move is violative of the letter and spirit of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by unilaterally targeting and restricting legitimate trade with Indian entities.

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