Home | Blogs | Andrew Gasser's blog

Exhibit A for ITAR Reform

Space News reported today that Space Systems Loral of Palo Alto California was being sold to MDA Corporation of Richmond British Columbia, Canada. Here is the first paragraph:

PARIS — Canada’s MDA Corp. is buying the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial telecommunications satellites, Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) of California, for $875 million in cash in a transaction that does not include risks associated with a lawsuit between SS/L and one of its customers, the two companies announced June 26.

Click here to read the full story from Space News.

This story should scare the heck out of every elected senator and congressman in Washington DC. Canada will own the largest producer of commercial communications satellites in the world. The real question about why did Loral make this move? The answer is obvious:

ITAR – The International Trafficking of Arms Regulations

ITAR is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences and good intentions. ITAR was supposed to stop the unauthorized transfer of technology to nations unfriendly to the United States. Sadly, ITAR has failed to stop that technology flow to countries like China and is destroying the free market system here in America and globally as well.

TPIS had the distinct privilege of talking to some great people at Loral last year. We got to actually listen to the problems Loral was having back then with ITAR and their ability to compete in the global market. One of the individuals went into great detail and pain of having to deal with ITAR. Now it’s clear for all see the damage of ITAR after years of unbuckling pressure applied to Loral and the private sector.

The United States is losing the largest producer of commercial communication satellites in the world to our friends and neighbors to the north. This is why Senator Bennet’s bill in the senate is so important. This is why every person who is involved with or cares deeply for our national space program needs to become involved. We are losing people and corporations, not because of a lack of money, but because of the heavy yolk of bureaucracy.

Senator Bennet introducing SB-3211 could not have had better timing this year. The events of today show a clear and compelling need for ITAR reform. This is a non-partisan issue that both Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, can get behind and support. The House has passed ITAR reform and the Senate needs to do the same.

TEA Party in Space looks forward to working with senators from both sides of the isle to pass this important legislation. If the largest producer of commercial communication satellites can leave the country, what is to stop the rest of them?

ITAR reform is required. It is non-partisan and the president wants it. Let’s put the partisanship aside for our nation’s future, and destiny, in space.



User Login