Page 2: Comment period looms for proposed changes for U.S. exports regulations on photonics and optics technologies

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"Most of the other categories have already been addressed, but the Administration has saved Category XII for last due to its complexity and importance to both industry and the military," said Douris.

SPIE identifies the comment process as the best opportunity for exporters, manufacturers, and researchers to influence revisions in regulations that control photonics exports. Concerning these proposed changes, the stakes for industry are high, and the economic impacts being seen by industry continue to become more serious, said Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO.

"Federal budget actions have kept R&D funding virtually flat, while market opportunity grows rapidly," he said. "Meanwhile, non-U.S. companies with similar products are selling freely, and using the motto 'ITAR-Free' to do so. Many are prudently investing the resulting revenue back into their companies, feeding the potential for rapid growth. This comes at the detriment of the U.S. industry’s growth and the high-paying jobs that come with it."

ECR was launched in 2009 with the intention of allowing for better protection of what the military would consider to be its “crown jewels” while recognizing the economic realities that are important to industry― to strengthen national security, while improving the competitiveness of U.S. businesses.

"The ECR revisions to Category XII must allow for future growth of the photonics and optics industry while protecting technologies especially designed for the military," said Jim McNally, chair of the SPIE Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy (ESTeP) committee. "The reforms will have a direct and lasting impact on industry and our academic community."

SPIE has a number of resources available, including templates and summaries for commenting.

View the announcement and make a comment here.

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