IPS, By Ramy Srour, October 17
On Tuesday, the largest deregulation in the history of U.S. arms exports took place as part of the Barack Obama administration’s export reform initiative.
But a day after the new reforms came into effect, former government officials and critics from the human rights community are warning of the serious human rights consequences and of the negative long-term impact for U.S. foreign policy.
The reforms are part of the Export Control Reform Initiative (ECRI) brought forward by the Obama administration in 2010, with the goal of simplifying U.S. export practices by eliminating redundant restrictions and regulations.
The most problematic aspect of the reforms is the extensive deregulation of military exports by categorising them as ‘dual-use’ goods, which currently face no trade restrictions under international commercial law.
“What this deregulation does is move as much as 75 percent of our arms exports to the Commerce Department, with no regulation,” Lowell told IPS.