Software Export Licenses from the Department of Commerce

Software Export Licenses from the Department of Commerce

By Francis J. Gorman

Software operates a large portion of high-value goods and services exported from the United States, including industrial machinery and services that can be accessed by users in remote locations. The value of software to U.S. exports is beyond doubt, yet difficult to measure.

The U.S. Government recognizes the crucial importance of software technology to our national security and foreign policy. The State Department controls the export of defense products that have software developed for the military objective of the product, and the Commerce Department controls the export of commercial products containing software that has “dual-use” capabilities (military and other strategic uses as well as commercial use). Other government agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration, are interested in various aspects of export controls.