Strategic Trade Controls
Forthcoming in Thilo Marauhn and Eric Myjer, eds., Research Handbook on Arms Control Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, expected 2021)
11 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020
Date Written: May 12, 2020
The establishment and maintenance of an effective strategic trade control (STC) system is an often overlooked and undervalued element in the broader context of international WMD nonproliferation law. However its importance at the practical level in the effort to regulate the spread and use of goods and technologies that can contribute to WMD programs around the world has always been significant. The implementation of effective national STC legal regimes has never been perfect or universal. But where implemented effectively, strategic trade controls materially contribute to international aims of keeping WMD sensitive goods and technologies out of the hands of dangerous actors. In this chapter I will first review the international legal basis for STCs, which is to be found in the three primary international treaties applying to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons proliferation, as well as in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540. In doing so I will also briefly review the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime, which operate as fora for coordination of national technology control lists and trade control policies. I will then focus on the implementation of STC legal systems at the national level by identifying and discussing common elements of effective STC systems. Finally, I will review some common challenges to implementing national STC systems, and discuss current developments relative to national and international STC regulation.
Keywords: international law, wmd proliferation, strategic trade controls, export controls
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