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JOINT STATEMENT
January 17, 2001

U.S.-UK Joint Statement on Defense Export Controls

Since July 2000, our governments have engaged in extensive consultations to address our mutual security interests in promoting strong transatlantic defense industrial cooperation in the context of effective defense export controls. We have reached substantial agreement in principle to implement steps that will allow our two countries to advance both those objectives, in line with the Defense Trade Security Initiative (DTSI) announced by the U.S. Secretary of State in May 2000 and the joint U.S./UK Declaration of Principles for Defense Equipment and Industrial Cooperation of February 2000.

Our two governments have examined closely our respective national defense trade control laws, regulations, policies, and enforcement, with the aim of providing comparably effective control of defense technologies. Considerable progress has been made so far:

  • We have assured ourselves that there is a high level of commonality between the United States Munitions List and the UK Military List.

  • The UK already plans to extend export controls to intangible transfers and to trafficking and brokering, and the necessary legislation is currently being prepared. The proposed legislation would provide additional measures that would extend HMG's export controls in this area.

  • Agreement in principle has also been reached on a system under which UK companies that want to use the ITAR exemption would voluntarily register as qualified companies with the UK and U.S. Governments, and commit themselves to abide by certain end use and retransfer assurances.

  • The UK has proposed the introduction of possible additional procedures in its export licensing process in order to provide reassurance on re-export to replace the information that the U.S. Government would no longer obtain from its licensing process in respect to material transferred to the UK under an ITAR waiver.

  • We have agreed to enhance further our close relationship in law enforcement cooperation on export control violations.

  • Both sides have also agreed to exchange information on the operation of their respective export control systems and to consult regularly to ensure effective implementation of controls under the agreement.
Our two governments are determined to increase our defense capabilities, promote interoperability and improve transatlantic defense industrial cooperation, while continuing to protect our sensitive defense technologies. While agreement in principle has been reached on many issues, some important issues remain. Both governments intend to examine jointly how maximum benefit can be obtained towards meeting their shared objectives through the implementation of the full range of elements in the DTSI initiative.

Once a binding agreement with the United Kingdom is in place and implemented, the United States has stated that it is prepared to revise its International Traffic in Arms Regulations to permit the export to qualified companies in the United Kingdom of most unclassified defense technology without a license.

The U.S. and U.K. defense industries have demonstrated a clear desire to enhance their collaboration. Since the signing of the Declaration of Principles in February 2000, a number of transatlantic collaborations have already occurred. BAE Systems' acquisition of both Lockheed Martin's Control System (06/2000) and Lockheed Martin AES (Sanders) (11/2000) has made BAE North America a leading supplier of defense electronics to DoD and the sixth largest defense contractor in the U.S. overall. A variety of other companies across product sectors have also been involved, including: Smith Industries' purchase of the Fairchild Defense Group of Orbital Sciences (10/2000); Cobham's acquisitions of Econ Microwave (8/2000) and Datron Systems' Microwave business (11/2000); and Filtronics' acquisition of Sigtek (8/2000). A number of U.S. companies similarly have holdings in the UK defense industry, including Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, TRW, and General Dynamics. Facilitating such industry-led collaboration can advance both our governments' objectives of promoting technical innovation, cost effectiveness in defense equipment, interoperability, and mutual security.

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