US Relaxes Rules on Exports of Armed Drones to Reduce Allies’ Dependence on China, Russia

US Relaxes Rules on Exports of Armed Drones to Reduce Allies’ Dependence on China, Russia

Xu Wei

Date: Mon, 04/23/2018 - 20:00 / source:Yicai
US Relaxes Rules on Exports of Armed Drones to Reduce Allies’ Dependence on China, Russia
US Relaxes Rules on Exports of Armed Drones to Reduce Allies’ Dependence on China, Russia

(Yicai Global) April 20 -- The Trump administration announced a new policy for US-made unmanned aerial systems, UAS, exports today, relaxing the ban on armed drones to accelerate the country’s arms exports and reduce its allies' dependence on Chinese and Russian products, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Trump administration believes that the old policy has obstructed the US in transferring "critical military capabilities" to its allies and partner countries and given more export opportunities to competitors, a White House official said today.

The global UAS market will reach a scale of over USD50 billion in the next 10 years. The new policy will provide allies and partner countries with more available US armaments and reduce their dependence on Chinese and Russian products, said Peter Navarro, Director of the White House National Trade Council, said at a press conference today.

The new policy will remove export barriers for the US to maintain its military advantage, he added. However, the military UAS export must be assessed by the Department of State and the Department of Defense and all military and civilian UAS exports should abide by the US’s nonproliferation commitment to the international community, a State Department official said.

The new policy stipulates that recipients must not arm armed UAS with a foreign system or unauthorized US system without prior authorization. Armed UAS are to be used in operations like national self-defense actions and recipients are not to use UAS to conduct unlawful surveillance against their domestic populations, it says.

The US government first announced a policy to strengthen the restrictions on exports of military and civilian UAS in February 2015, which is now replaced by the new one.

Editor: Mevlut Katik

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Keywords: US, Drone, Arms Ban, Proliferation, TRUMP, UAS