DEFENSE DEPARTMENT

Obama Advisor: ITAR Is a Cold War Relic

11/1/2008
By Sandra I. Erwin
The current export-control regulations for U.S. technologies are anachronistic and are undermining the nation's aerospace and defense industries, says Paul Kaminski, a former undersecretary of defense and currently an advisor to presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama.

An Obama administration, he says, would want to take a look at reforming the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) -- the rules that control the export and import of defense-related technologies and services.

“ITAR may have served us well in the Cold War” when the world was bipolar, Kaminski told a conference of the Government Electronic Industries Association Oct. 22. Today, allied countries need to be able to share technology and U.S. companies are unduly restricted in what they can sell to overseas partners, Kaminski says. “It hurts our space industrial base particularly.” The industry for years has complained that even  commercial technologies often are not exportable because they are considered “dual use,” meaning that they could be used for weapon making. The widespread availability of technologies from many other countries today leaves U.S. companies unable to compete globally because of the export-control restrictions, say industry officials.

“It's flabbergasting to me our inability to sell components,” Kaminski says.

Topics: Business Trends

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