Export Controls Are a Defining Instrument of U.S. National Security

About this commentary series

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has launched a new project on export controls that will run through the beginning of 2021. This project examines the policy goals of U.S. export controls, their effectiveness, the role of allies and partners, and the potential unintended consequences of America’s growing use of export controls. As a part of this project, CNAS has asked a group of experts and policymakers to offer their perspectives on the policy goals that U.S. export controls should serve, and how and under what circumstances U.S. export controls can effectively achieve those policy goals. This is the first series of commentaries that CNAS will publish as a part of this project.

Explore the series

Energy, Economics & Security

Rethinking Export Controls: Unintended Consequences and the New Technological Landscape

The U.S. approach to export controls requires change....

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Energy, Economics & Security

Export Controls Are Bigger and Broader. But Are We Safer?

U.S. leaders must consider how export controls can be used effectively, and the circumstances in which export controls may be ill-suited to a policy objective....

Energy, Economics & Security

Trade Controls are a Limited Tool of Foreign Policy

If the goal is to ensure our adversaries acquire nothing that they need, we are doomed to failure....

Energy, Economics & Security

For Effective Controls, Build Coalitions

As strategic concerns about China and its industrial policy become more widespread, opportunities to build coalitions are expanding....

Energy, Economics & Security

Export Controls Will Become More Effective When They Include Plurilateral Controls

Use of export controls to accomplish purely economic or trade policy objectives compromises the effectiveness of both the export control and the international trade systems....

Energy, Economics & Security

To Protect America’s Edge, Focus on Tech Indigenization

The best application of technology-focused export controls are ones that directly address the pursuit of indigenization....

Energy, Economics & Security

On Export Controls, the United States Must Focus on Effectiveness

Export controls will be more effective if they are narrowly tailored to specific national security objectives....

Energy, Economics & Security

As Warfighting Becomes High-Tech, Export Controls are the Front Line

Export controls are effective in supporting the core U.S. policy goal of protecting U.S. military might....

Energy, Economics & Security

China’s View of the United States’ Expanded Use of Export Controls

China will respond by strengthening its self-sufficiency in critical technologies and safeguarding its core national interests....

Energy, Economics & Security

Designing for Export: Industry and Government Roles

The United States should enhance the exportability of U.S.-produced platforms and systems to U.S. allies....

Energy, Economics & Security

Shaping the Fourth Offset

In pursuit of a Fourth Offset, export regulations may be radically reimagined to alter U.S. industry culture and commercial strategies....


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