WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) released the statement below following a speech by Secretary Gates this afternoon announcing a comprehensive reform of export control system:


“Our nation has the very best military technology, and it is absolutely critical that these highly sensitive systems do not fall into the wrong hands. While controlling the export of sensitive technologies is fundamental to keeping our nation safe, it cannot be truly effective if the system is muddled and wrought with gaps and inconsistencies across agencies.


“Earlier today, Secretary Gates announced a plan for the kind of comprehensive reforms that can strengthen our export control system to better protect Americans, placing a top priority on our national security.  By building a better and stronger protective system, we can be more effective in preventing terrorists or others who seek to do us harm from obtaining our technologies.


“The Armed Services Committee has long worked to make the export control system stronger, more efficient, and more effective.  I am confident that we can work closely with Secretary Gates on a bipartisan basis and with other committees in the Congress to make sure that the system protecting our technology is as excellent as the technology itself. I look forward to holding a hearing on this issue in the coming months.”