AIA: satellite export reform critical to U.S. national security and space industrial base

ARLINGTON, Va., 30 Jan. 2012. The U.S. space industry is losing its competitive edge and risks falling short of future national security requirements, unless government reforms the export control system and promotes the international competitiveness of U.S. industry, according to a new report released by AIA.

"A strong and globally competitive space industrial and supplier base is a major national security asset," says AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "Reforming America's export control system and promoting space exports will better serve our national security and bolster our economy and technological leadership."

“Competing for Space: Satellite Export Policy and U.S. National Security” surveys U.S. satellite systems and components manufacturers about the challenges the space industrial base faces as a result of U.S. export policies. Among the adverse impacts on industry are: loss of global market share and dampening of satellite component sales opportunities to sustain U.S. space technology leadership.

AIA's survey found more than 70 percent of respondents incurred lost sales due to the current export control system.  Commercial space system suppliers—who also often build critical components essential to our national security—face some of the most daunting challenges, with one firm citing annual losses of $5 million because of these impediments.

"Unlike the rest of the world, U.S. law requires export control agencies to regulate commercial satellites and components the same as anti-tank missiles," Blakey adds. "Clearly, it's time for a change.  Promotion of satellite and space exports to U.S. allies and partners will help ensure our security and aerospace industrial base remains second to none."

AIA's recommendations to policymakers include:

  • Support legislation that would return authority over commercial satellite export control jurisdiction to the administration
  • Remove low/no risk technologies from the U.S. Munitions List
  • Advocate for space exports to U.S. allies and partners
  • Develop easier cooperative arrangements on space technology between the U.S. government and military and our foreign allies and partners

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