Statement on Arms Transfer and Unmanned Aerial Systems Export Reforms
Statement on Arms Transfer and Unmanned Aerial Systems Export Reforms
(Source: White House; issued April 19, 2018)
America is safer when our partners have access to the American-built systems they need to defend themselves and our shared interests, and when American industry competes on a level playing field.

Today, President Donald J. Trump signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum approving a new Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) policy. He has also established a new Administration policy on the export of American-manufactured unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The new CAT policy reflects the priorities set out in the President’s National Security Strategy, and provides a framework under which all United States Government agencies will review and evaluate proposed arms transfers and approve commercial defense sales by American companies.

The Trump Administration’s new UAS export policy replaces an overly restrictive policy established in 2015 that hindered American companies from delivering a crucial military capability to our allies and partners. These updated policies reflect the President’s commitment to peace through strength by building up our allies and partners, expanding opportunities for American industry, creating American jobs, and advancing the national security interests of the United States.

American industry produces the most sophisticated and effective defense systems in the world. Today’s announcements are key first steps in a series of Government-wide initiatives to strengthen our allies, support the manufacturing and defense industrial base, and drive American job creation and innovation.


Click here for the Presidential Memorandum, on the White House website.

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White House Conventional Arms Transfer Policy Announcement an Important First Step
(Source: Aerospace Industries Association; issued April 19, 2018)
ARLINGTON, Va. --- The Aerospace Industries Association welcomed today’s Conventional Arms Transfer Policy announcement by the Trump Administration, which institutes a review of the approval process for defense export trade.

“Defense trade with allies and partners is a critical tool for achieving America’s foreign policy and national security goals,” said AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning. “We need a defense export review and approval system that is more efficient and transparent in reaching the right decisions.”

The security cooperation enterprise is tasked with reviewing and approving defense transfers to U.S. allies and partners and involves several agencies and offices spread across the U.S. government. However, increasing demand for American defense products has strained the system, resulting in an overburdened and fragmented process beset by avoidable delays. The current enterprise is not adequately resourced or organized to fulfill U.S. national security requirements in a timely manner.

AIA recommends two key pillars of reform necessary to “outpartner” our adversaries. First, the Administration should design and implement a National Security Cooperation Strategy that clearly identifies priorities and leverages U.S. industry as a partner in delivering the right capabilities at the right time to the right allies.

Second, the Administration should establish an interagency task force accountable for tracking and expediting this process, and addressing policy or process obstacles that hinder achievement of our security cooperation objectives.

“In the global market for defense goods, speed has become a decisive factor,” Fanning added. “We’re not looking to change the answer from no to yes on any particular transfer. Rather, we’re trying to get to the right answer more quickly and maximize the benefits of interoperability and predictability for the United States and our allies and partners.”

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