The Aerospace Industries Association has sent a letter signed by more than 100 company presidents urging the Obama Administration to fix some longstanding headaches regarding export controls. AIA president Marion Blakey told reporters Thursday there’s a lack of “coherency” in the way export requests are reviewed, particularly at the Pentagon, which has multiple committees using different rules. She praised the Obama Administration for making export reform a priority “so early” by creating an interagency review and noted that DOD and State have already done some spade work. AIA believes its recommended reforms will facilitate collaboration with close allies yet still safeguard critical technologies and help maintain US production lines, Blakey said. AIA advocates getting more “precision” in the rules, for instance making a distinction for unmanned aerial vehicles, one of the fastest-growing aerospace sectors, between those UAVs that can employ weapons and those that cannot. (UAV white paper and link to other export-related papers)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.