A Fit of Sanity on ITAR
Over at Space Politics, Jeff Foust reports that the House has passed a bill allowing the administration to remove satellites from the munitions list and move control of their export from the State Department to the Department of Commerce. The current situation has cost our launch and satellite industry billions in lost international sales, which could have helped quite a bit with the trade balance since it went into effect fourteen years ago. Unfortunately, there is no companion in the Senate. As Foust notes, such a measure has passed the House before (three years ago) only to die in the upper chamber, but since the recent report put out by the Aerospace Industries Association documenting the damage to the aerospace industry (about $21B), there is probably more awareness of the issue on the Hill than there used to be, so there’s some reason to hope.