The Satellite Industry
Association (SIA) and the Space Foundation today announced their support of
legislation introduced by Representatives Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Dana
Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) which would return export licensing authority for
commercial communication satellites to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“Satellite Trade and Security Act of 2001” is designed to strengthen the
competitiveness of the U.S. satellite industry and enhance national security
by preventing the unauthorized transfer of sensitive satellite-related

SIA’s Executive Director Clayton Mowry praised the bill stating, “This
legislation will keep strong controls on satellite technology to ensure U.S.
national security is protected while allowing American satellite companies to
maintain their leadership position in the international marketplace.”
added, “State Department and Defense Department officials have testified
before Congress in agreement that commercial satellites should be licensed by
the Commerce Department.
This bill reflects their common position and
requires all the relevant national security agencies to review commercial
satellite export license applications.”

Elliot Pulham, president and CEO of the Space Foundation said, “We applaud
the introduction of legislation by Representatives Berman and Rohrabacher to
return jurisdiction for commercial satellite export licensing to the Commerce
Pulham added, “While maintaining necessary and appropriate
national security safeguards for sensitive technology, the proposed
legislation is a crucial step forward in restoring the competitiveness of
commercial satellite companies.
That in turn strengthens the entire space
industry, ensuring the many benefits of space technology can continue to
enhance each of our lives.”

The Satellite Trade and Security Act of 2001 includes several security
measures to ensure that sensitive satellite and related technologies are
The bill requires the Department of Commerce to refer all
satellite export license applications to the Department of State and the
Department of Defense for review while directing them to hold consultations
with the Central Intelligence Agency for any overseas launches of U.S.
commercial satellites.
In introducing the bill Representative Berman
emphasized that, “no export of any satellite or satellite-related component
can proceed unless all three agencies agree.”

In 1998, Congress passed the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization
Act (NDAA) transferring export licensing authority for all commercial
satellite and related components from the Commerce Department to the State
Berman stated that since the shift in control, “It has become
clear that the State Department is ill-equipped to handle these items.
agency takes far too long to issue licenses — even to our closest allies.”

In February 2001 SIA released the results of a study conducted for the
State of California that illustrated the negative results of the change in
licensing authority.
The report showed a drastic decline in U.S. market share
for geostationary communications satellites from a ten-year average of about
75 percent to 45 percent during 2000 — the first complete year since the
transfer of export control authority.

The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) represents the leading U.S. space
and communications companies in the commercial satellite arena.
executive and affiliate member companies are engaged in satellite
manufacturing, ground equipment manufacturing, satellite services, launch
services, and support services.
SIA is the unified voice of the U.S.
commercial satellite industry on policy and regulatory matters of common
The association is dedicated to promoting the use of satellite
technology in global communications.

The Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation is a national non-profit
organization with a two-part mission: “To vigorously advance civil, commercial
and national security space endeavors for a brighter future, and to
passionately provide educational excellence through the excitement of space!”