Last August J. Reece Roth, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, passed along a research paper to Sirous Nourgostar, a graduate student from Iran working under his supervision. It contained details on refined plasma actuator technology, which uses ionized gas to improve aircraft control. Roth was doing research on flight performance for a U.S. Air Force contractor and had relied on the assistance of Nourgostar and of Xin Dai, a Chinese national also studying under him. . . . .
Companies and academics that want to conduct restricted research with foreigners in the U.S. need an export license for each person involved. In 2007 they applied for 1,056 licenses, a 50% increase in five years. The vast majority of those applications were for Chinese nationals, and only four were rejected. But the process is burdensome, and things will only get worse with two-thirds of the engineering Ph.D.s granted in the U.S. now going to noncitizens. . . . .
If anything, the U.S. government is considering increasing the regulatory burden. An advisory committee put together by the Department of Commerce, while making nods to the law's complexity, suggests companies should even conduct a litmus test on an employee's loyalty, like asking if an employee has connections or allegiance to a country of concern such as China. "It would be a nightmare," says William Reinsch, who runs a trade association that represents companies like Microsoft.
(Source: http://www.forbes.com/global/2008/0721/042.html; notice courtesy of International Trade Law News, http://tradelawnews.com/) [Short excerpt of full article available at Source.]