(Bloomberg) -- US restrictions on exports “are at the red-hot center of how we best protect our democracies” because they cut off supply of crucial technologies tocountries that threaten American national security, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. 

Export controls “matter more than ever,” she said at a conference hosted by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security Wednesday, giving the example of restrictions on exports to Russia that may force the nation to ground as much as two-thirds of its commercial aircraft in the next four years to cannibalize them for spare parts. 

US shipments of all goods to the nation that invaded Ukraine have plunged about 95% by value, while American sales in the aviation and aerospace industry have tumbled 99.9%, Alan Estevez, under secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, said earlier this month. 

Export controls by the US and 37 other nations are working, Raimondo said, adding “we have to do it over a sustained period of time because, unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to end anytime soon.” 

The BIS spent months prior to Russia’s invasion in late February coordinating potential export controls with global allies to make sure that Moscow wouldn’t simply substitute technology exports from another nation for those that were blocked by the US. The rules are being used to deny Russia access to products used in the defense, aerospace, and maritime sectors.

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