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August 05, 2008 

Canadian Government Blames ITAR for Delays in Acquiring New Military Equipment

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper contains a front page story today on the adverse impact of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on Canada's acquisition of new military equipment. Below are some excerpts of the story. The complete story can be found here:

Ottawa is facing an uphill battle to carry out a promised purchase of $17-billion in new military equipment because of stringent U.S. security rules and ballooning costs caused by a series of delays, newly released documents show.

According to Foreign Affairs briefing notes, the government is blaming U.S. security measures that limit the export of military technology to Canada, as American authorities fear some Canadian workers will engage in espionage.

* * *

In addition, documents released by the Department of Foreign Affairs reveal government fears that the purchase of military equipment "is in jeopardy" because of U.S. regulations called the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

* * *

The Canadian government argues that ITAR is discriminatory and goes against the Charter of Rights. However, Ottawa has so far been unable to persuade the U.S. government to ease the restrictions for private-sector workers.

The Foreign Affairs documents show that U.S. firms are tired of ITAR, which hamper their sales to the Canadian government and cause delays.

"U.S. industry is becoming increasingly frustrated with the status quo as it impeded its own defence trade," a document said.

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