US Industry Associations Pushing to Reform Export Controls

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Flew through turbulence(click to view full) America’s ITAR system for controlling military exports has become a persistent complaint abroad – and at home. Abroad, it is often seen as being about protectionism first, and protection second. At home, the system is widely seen as a stumbling block to joint projects with US allies, and to America’s defense industry more generally. Britain’s ITAR-related disputes with the USA (now resolved) over the multinational F-35 program, and recent problems with approval that tipped a major foreign weapon purchase in favor of a particular US competitor, illustrate both types of complaints at work. At the same time, legitimate security concerns around military technology transfer must be satisfied – and hopefully updated in an era where nations like China have used “American” front businesses as vehicles for major espionage coups. Now an industry initiative is underway to change key aspects of the US defense export control system, with support from several European firms. A recent GAO report is adding fuel to the fire, noting vulnerabilities in the existing system and recommending rethink and reform. Industry Initiatives In the coalition’s March 6 press release, Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO John Douglass said: “Making these improvements […]

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