print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > January 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 2, 2002

President Changes Export Controls on Computers
Statement by the Deputy Press Secretary
Changes to U.S. Dual-Use Export Controls

President Bush today announced changes to the Administration's export controls on computers and microprocessors.  These changes will advance the President's goal of updating the U.S. export control system so that it protects U.S. national security, and at the same time, allows America's high tech companies to innovate and successfully compete in today's marketplace.

Specifically, the United States will raise the level above which it requires individual licenses for computer exports to Tier 3 countries (which include Russia, Israel, India, Pakistan, and China) from the current level of  85,000 Millions of Theoretical Operations Per Second (MTOPS) to 190,000 MTOPS.  Latvia will be moved from Tier 3 to the group of countries for which no prior review is required for computer exports.  The President has notified Congress of these changes, as required by law.  These changes require a 60- and 120-day Congressional notification period.  The United States also will raise the level at which it requires individual licenses for exports to many destinations of general purpose microprocessors from 6,500 MTOPS to 12,000 MTOPS.  The new computer and microprocessor levels will become effective when published by the Department of Commerce in the Federal Register.

These reforms are needed due to the rapid rate of technological change in the computer industry.  Single microprocessors available today by mail order and the Internet perform at more than twenty-five times the speed of supercomputers built in the early 1990s.  Computer performance that once cost millions of dollars is now available in inexpensive systems used in homes, schools and businesses, and made by companies around the world.

# # #