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The United States imposes export controls on dual-use technology items. The term dual-use technology refers to items which can be used for both military and commercial applications. Dual-use technology is a concern for items which could be used for peaceful or for military purposes, such as building nuclear or biochemical weapons. The United States bars or heavily restricts the export of such dual-use technologies to any nation on its “entities” list; a list that includes countries such as Iran and China. President Obama traveled to India over the weekend to promote trade between the two countries. India would like to negotiate the removal of dual-use restrictions for its governmental agencies involved in defense, nuclear and space research. The United States sees India as a market for its aviation and defense industries.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:

  1. One of the justifications used for preventing dual-use exports is national security. Critique the extent to which this is an appropriate argument for India.
  2. The article and the related videos seem to suggest that trade between India and the United States can be a quid pro quo or “this or for that” arrangement. Analyze the tradeoffs for the United States of easing export controls to India.
  3. President Obama faces increasing domestic scrutiny for the continued high levels of unemployment. Discuss how Mr. Obama’s trip to India will complicate his goal of proving that his economic policies have produced jobs back home.

SOURCE: Sharma, A. (2010, November 5). On the agenda: Easing tech limits, touting deals. Wall Street Journal, p. A5. (Retrievable online at
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704805204575594341708986102.html)

Related video clip available at: http://online.wsj.com/video/obama-boosts-indo-us-economic-ties/96DB801B-1B85-44FE-B9B2-0FD8BFC4A7FA.html

Related video clip available at: http://online.wsj.com/video/obama-india-sojourn/D5399722-04AE-4A50-9754-3B29CF2E3F29.html

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