AIA Pushes for ITAR Reform

AIA PRESS RELEASE

Satellite export control rules are hampering U.S. national security and economic interests, and must be updated to protect the U.S. space industrial base, Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion Blakey said Thursday in written testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee.

“Without meaningful steps to modernize the U.S. export control system and enhance space trade among our allies, the United States faces a real and daunting possibility of losing our leadership in space and ability to compete in the global space industry,” Blakey said.

U.S. market share for commercial satellites dropped from 73 percent to 27 percent after legislation passed in 1998 to control commercial satellites as military items.  The Center for Strategic and International Studies reports that the United States is the only country that requires stringent and time-consuming reviews and approval processes for exports of commercial communications satellites and related components.

AIA recommends that the government undertake a review of all space technologies to determine which ones should be controlled as commercial or military items. The review should be coupled with legislation that allows the administration flexibility to differentiate between sensitive commercial satellite technologies and truly commercial components.

“During his campaign President Obama pledged a thorough review of our export control system,” said Blakey. “We are looking forward to working with the administration to restore the competitiveness of the U.S. satellite industry.”

Full text of Blakey’s remarks and her written testimony can be found on the AIA Web site at http://www.aia-aerospace.org/newsroom/speeches_testimony/.