Global Defense Developments

Steptoe’s Paul Hurst and Tom Barletta recently authored an advisory on the DoD’s release of its FY 2017 Annual Defense Industrial Capabilities Report (DoD Report). The DoD Report provides a comprehensive overview of DoD’s assessment of key issues and risks facing the defense industrial base (DIB), generally and in specific sectors. The DoD Report also

On June 26, Senator Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), informed Secretary Tillerson that, in light of the current diplomatic stalemate between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, the SFRC would not “provide any further clearances during the informal review period on sales of lethal military equipment” to the six members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, or GCC — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Chairman Corker indicated that this policy would remain in place until the SFRC has “a better understand of the path to resolve the current dispute and reunify the GCC.” Of course, many have urged the United States to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia for other reasons, in particular Saudi Arabia’s failure to comply with basic principles of international humanitarian law that have resulted in excessive civilian casualties in Saudi Arabia’s ongoing armed conflict in Yemen.

Does Chairman Corker’s letter signal an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries for the foreseeable future? Not necessarily.

Under Section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), Congress generally must be notified at least 30 calendar days before the Executive Branch can take the final steps to finalize foreign arms sales above certain dollar value thresholds.   The notification periods differ slightly for sales to NATO member countries, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel, and New Zealand.
Continue Reading Power of the Pen: Did Chairman Corker’s Letter End US Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia?

Tomorrow, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will ease certain US export controls on India, as part of the US commitments under the India–US Joint Statement of June 7, 2016, which recognized the United States and India as Major Defense Partners.  BIS is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to establish a general licensing policy of approval for exports or reexports to or transfers within India of items subject to the EAR and controlled only for National Security (NS) or Regional Stability (RS) reasons.  Items subject to the EAR include items shipped from the United States or items reexported from a third country to India with more than 25% U.S.-origin content.  The NS and RS controls include some of the most sensitive items on the control list, which underscores the significance of this development from both a national security and a commercial perspective.  It is important to note that licensing requirements generally still apply to these exports and reexports to India, but now BIS will be generally inclined towards granting these license requests, which should open up a significant new market for companies operating in these sectors. 
Continue Reading Commerce Department Eases Certain Export Controls on India

On October 31, 2016, the US Department of Defense published a proposed rule titled Withholding of Unclassified Technical Data and Technology from the Public Disclosure.  Public comments on the rule are due December 30, 2016.  Essentially, the proposed rule sets forth procedures already incorporated in pre-existing DOD directives regarding the dissemination and withholding of

On October 31, 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) published a proposed rule entitled, Withholding of Unclassified Technical Data and Technology from the Public Disclosure.  Public comments must be submitted by December 30, 2016.

The proposed rule establishes DoD policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the circulation and withholding of certain unclassified technical

As Steptoe previously reported, May 2016 the DoD published updates to the National Industrial Security Operating Manual (“NISPOM,” Change 2 to DoD 5220.22-M) and an accompanying Industrial Security Letter requiring government contractors holding a facility security clearance (“FCL”) to establish or maintain a written policy by November 30, 2016 to detect, deter, and

On June 3, 2016 the Department of Commerce issued a final rule, and the Department of State issued an interim final rule, making changes to key definitions in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The rules update the definitions of “export,” “reexport,” “release,” and “retransfer” under both the