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Trump Signs an Updated Policy Allows Defense Contractors to Sell Drones Overseas

Trump signs an updated policy allows defense contractors to sell drones overseas

A new measure has been signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, which gives a green flag to the U.S. Defense contractors to be able to sell drones to a foreign military. It wasn’t possible earlier, but the updated measure has opened up the way for more sales in the sector.

Previously, foreign governments were not permitted to trade Drones from the U.S. because of the Missile Technology Control Regime regulating the purchase and sale. The new update is being seen as a push towards selling more weapons to other countries. 

The MTCR signed three decades ago by 35 member nations, states that large drones can be analogous to cruise missiles, which makes the subject of their export to nations a matter of concern for many. Now that the policy has been updated, new terms are that any drone that flies under 800 km/h will be subject to it.

Many large drones by reputed companies like the Reapers by General Atomics or the Global Hawks by Northrop Grumman will no longer be subject to the terms of the earlier policy with more restrictions. These fall under the bar set by MTCR under the updated policy signed by Trump. 

The new terms will allow U.S. allies to meet any urgent requirements regarding national security concerns. Even commercial requirements will be fulfilled moving forward, as it has been suggested by Clarke Cooper, assistant secretary for political-military affairs at the Department of State.

Many are also viewing the policy’s updated terms on the export of drones, as a bid by the Trump administration to sell more weapons outside the borders. It is also notable that it in no way means that drones would now become an easy product to acquire for weaponry requirements. The concern around the use of more drones will lead to the abuse of human rights and should not be downplayed by anyone. 

Copper has also mentioned that it is important the interest of whom the U.S. will be indulging in exports with, should align well with their own. He elaborated on this by saying, “These are all case-by-case determinations based on not only what the partner requirement may be but also how that aligns with U.S. interest.”

It has also come to light along with updating the policy, that MTCR was only restricting U.S. partners to mediocre technology. On this White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the MTCR, “Hindered deterrence capability abroad by handicapping our partners and allies with subpar technology” It has also been agreed upon by many that MTCR had only become outdated now.

Another statement has come to McEnany, which details that approvals on sale of a self-operated aircraft system like drones are decisions that the government of a country has to make as a whole. It also takes into account the policies, national security concerns while ensuring responsible use of available technology. The same is expected to be followed when the sale of drones to foreign military officially takes place.

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