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October 07, 2008 

Space Foundation Publishes White Paper on ITAR and the U.S. Space Industry

The non-profit Space Foundation recently published a white paper entitled "ITAR and the U.S. Space Industry" that examines the effect of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on the export of space-related products and technology.

The White Paper is based on a survey conducted by the Space Foundation in 2007 to determine if the ITAR had affected the business practices and the cost structures of the space industry in a significant way. The survey contained quantitative and qualitative questions and the results showed that most responding U.S. companies are aware of the need for protecting certain technologies but they do not believe that ITAR is working the way it should. The results also indicated that smaller respondent companies are more likely to feel adverse effects from ITAR than large companies, which is a matter of concern since lower-tier contractors are a significant source of new technology and innovation. The Space Foundation concluded its report by noting that "by continuing to operate an export control regime designed during the Cold War, the United States reduces the competitiveness of its space industry in the global market and potentially harms the domestic innovation processes that enable U.S. space leadership."

The White Paper proposes specific steps to modernize the ITAR, enabling the regulations to accomplish their original purpose of protecting important security technologies while allowing more U.S. space companies to compete successfully in the global economy.

The Space Foundation's White Paper can be found here (pdf).




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