Although the mid-term elections are widely viewed as having diminished the likelihood that export control modernization legislation will be brought to the floor in the next year, Obama Administration efforts to reform the system through administrative actions are ongoing, with two significant developments this week. First, President Obama announced a relaxation of export controls for India, removing India's defense and space organizations from the U.S. "entities list," which restricted their business with the United States. As Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman told reporters in Mumbai, "removing these entities from the list will allow for greater trade and cooperation in civilian space and defense, and enable our governments to focus on other outstanding barriers."
Second, President Obama issued an executive order on November 9 establishing an export enforcement coordination center. The center will be funded, directed by and housed in the Department of Homeland Security, with deputy directors from the Departments of Commerce and Justice. The export enforcement coordination center will facilitate government-wide communication and activity related to export controls enforcement, serving as the primary point of contact between State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, the directorate of National Intelligence and other relevant agencies.