New Regulations Will Keep Colorado Aerospace Industry Competitive

Washington, D.C. May 13, 2014 – The U.S. Departments of Commerce and State today published final changes to regulations that control the exports of satellites and related items. The new rules were prompted by a bill written by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and will help place Colorado aerospace companies on more equal footing with their international competitors.

“This is welcome news for Colorado’s booming aerospace sector,” Bennet said. “Although a long time coming, these new rules will help our firms remain competitive with their global competitors by reforming outdated restrictions that had previously hampered their efforts to export satellites, while still protecting our national security interests.”

Bennet’s bill to give the Administration the discretion to transfer certain less sensitive satellites and satellite components from the more restrictive U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List was included in the 2012 Defense Authorization Act. The bill was based on recommendations from a joint report on satellite export controls by the Departments of Defense and State.

“Our work doesn’t end here,” Bennet said. “With the help of Colorado’s business community, we must continually reexamine the regulations that control our export practices to make sure they’re appropriate for the ever-changing global market.”

Before these reforms, the Administration did not have the authority to determine the appropriate export controls for satellites and space-related items. Instead, they were controlled as defense articles under International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR), even if they had civilian applications and were available commercially abroad. This put U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage in the global market.