DEF051124 - No. 09

Session 2005-06, 24 November 2005

ITAR Waiver Defence Committee Comment ITAR Waiver

ITAR Waiver Defence Committee Comment ITAR Waiver

The Defence Committee has noted with concern media reports that negotiations with the US to win an ITAR Waiver for the UK have failed.

According to the Financial Times, US Administration officials have concluded that political opposition on Capitol Hill to granting the UK a waiver from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is insurmountable. The ITAR create a bureaucratic barrier to the export of unclassified defence equipment and technology.

The Committee regards that flow of equipment and technology as crucial to US-UK defence cooperation. Failure to achieve an ITAR waiver for the UK threatens the future of a number of joint procurement projects and has implications for UK defence policy and the UK defence industrial base.

The Committee have pursued this issue for several years and warned in a recent report that if the waiver was not secured there was a “a real risk that the close relationship between the UK and the US could be harmed”. Commenting on the report, Committee Chairman, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, MP said that “the inability of Congress to find a resolution on this issue will cause serious problems not only for the UK defence industry but also our Service men and women”.

The Committee has asked MoD to comment on the media reports and it will consider taking oral evidence in December if it does not receive assurances that they are not well founded.

The Committee plans to visit Washington in the New Year and will again impress on members of the US Congress the importance of these issues for US -UK relations.


1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Chairman), Mr David S Borrow MP, Mr Colin Breed MP, Derek Conway MP, Mr David Crausby MP, Linda Gilroy MP, Mr David Hamilton MP, Mr Mike Hancock MP, Mr Dai Havard MP, Mr Brian Jenkins MP, Mr Kevan Jones MP, Robert Key MP, John Smith MP, Mr Desmond Swayne MP

2. News Release: No. 09


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