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May 17, 2007 

U.S. and Canada Reach Agreement on Application of ITAR to Canadian Dual Nationals Working on Certain Military Programs

The U.S. and Canada today announced that they have completed an exchange of letters documenting an arrangement between the U.S. Department of State and the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) permitting dual citizens in Canada to work on certain military projects that are subject to the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Under the arrangement announced today, the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) will implement procedures to grant access to defense articles and services exported to Canada under the ITAR to DND personnel who are Canadian citizens holding a minimum secret-level security clearance, including dual nationals. DND personnel covered by this agreement include Canadian Forces members, civilian employees, embedded contractors and employees of other federal government departments and agencies working within DND. Canadian standards and procedures will continue to be used to process security clearances.

This agreement, which has been negotiated for more than one year, was necessary since the U.S. has been limiting access to ITAR-controlled defense articles and services to Canadian citizens, and denying access to Canadian citizens who possess dual nationality with a U.S. proscribed country. Canada objected to these restrictions claiming they would be inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and human rights legislation, which prohibit discriminatory treatment of Canadian citizens, regardless of their country of origin or other nationality. This arrangement will allow Canada to proceed with the purchase of U.S.-produced CH-47 helicopters, C-17 transport aircraft and C-130 aircraft.

The U.S. and Canada both indicated that they consider this arrangement as an important first step in resolving these ITAR-related issues. The State Department has offered to conclude similar arrangements with other Canadian government agencies provided they can assure the U.S. of their commitment to "vigorously implement and oversee similar procedures".

The press releases issued by the U.S. Department of State and Canada's Department of National Defence can be found here and here.

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