Issue Date: January 12, 2009
Updating Export, Visa Rules
Security controls that restrict the flow of information and technology and the movement of foreign scientists within the U.S. need to be modernized, according to a National Academies report released on Jan. 8 in Washington, D.C. The report, “Beyond Fortress America,” calls on the President to take immediate action to restructure the outdated export-control processes within the federal government and enhance access to foreign talent to prevent further declines in U.S. scientific and technological competitiveness. “While the U.S. remains a world leader in advanced science and technology, it no longer dominates,” the report states. The report recommends retaining only those export controls that work and eliminating other restrictions, particularly those that impose costs disproportionate to the restrictions’ security benefits. It also advocates for a streamlined visa application process so that foreign researchers and students will have an easier time entering and remaining in the U.S. The U.S. “needs to change to a philosophy that everything is open, and restricted only when it is demonstrated that it needs to be,” committee Cochair Brent Scowcroft, president of the Scowcroft Group and former U.S. national security adviser, said in a statement.
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