Time for Senators to Acknowledge Need for ITAR Reform
It is time for Senators on both sides of the aisle to acknowledge that our commercial communications satellite manufactures need relief from oppressive International Trafficking of Arms Regulations (ITAR). For too long ITAR has crushed American companies and put them at a direct disadvantage to foreign competitors in the free market. Competitors to such companies as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ATK, and Loral openly advertise ITAR free satellites which are easier to buy.
Like most regulations, the intent of ITAR was noble and required. We did not want to empower America's enemies to conduct war via technology transfer like what occured in the 1990s. The congress was correct to enact ITAR. However, like most regulations, the unintended consequences of regulations crush the free market to engage in commerce. In this case, American commercial satellite manufactures are at a distinct disadvantage.
It is time for the congress to re-examine what should fall under ITAR and what should be moved off of ITAR.
While ITAR reform has been passed in the House, action needs to occur in the Senate. Senator Michael Benett (D-CO) has introduced Senate Bill 3211 (click here for earlier story). This is a very responsible approach to ITAR reform and is something that all senators, Republicans and Democrats, can get behind. The bill will be debated in the Foriegn Relations Committee. It is our hope that this bill, bi-partisan in nature, will receive a quick and fair hearing and be moved for a vote.
It is time for all people concerned with America's advancement in space, start calling their senators and informing them of SB-3211.