“It’s coming back,” said Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Tuesday about his bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales, a bill which failed to pass on its first run through the Senate last month. [more]
Arms Export Control Act (1976)
The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 gives the President of the United States the authority to control the import and export of defense articles and defense services. It requires governments that receive weapons from the United States to use them for legitimate self-defense. Consideration is given as to whether the exports “would contribute to an arms race, aid in the development of weapons of mass destruction, support international terrorism, increase the possibility of outbreak or escalation of conflict, or prejudice the development of bilateral or multilateral arms control or nonproliferation agreements or other arrangements.” The Act also places certain restrictions on American arms traders and manufacturers, prohibiting them from the sale of certain sensitive technologies to certain parties and requiring thorough documentation of such trades to trusted parties.
In March 2007, ITT Corporation was fined for criminal violation of the act. The fines resulted from ITT’s outsourcing program, in which they transferred night vision goggles and classified information about countermeasures against laser weapons, including light interference filters to engineers in Singapore, the People’s Republic of China, and the United Kingdom. They were fined $100 million US dollars, although they were also given the option of spending half of that sum on research and development of new night vision technology. The United States government will assume rights to the resulting created intellectual property.
In January 2009, Congressman Dennis Kucinich sent notice to Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, that Israel’s actions in Gaza since December 27th, 2008 may constitute a violation of the requirements of the Arms Export Control Act. When the President is aware of the possibility of such violations, the AECA requires a report to Congress on the potential violation(s).
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts an industry outreach program called the Project Shield America to prevent foreign adversaries, terrorists, and criminal networks from obtaining U.S. munitions and strategic technology.