Reports: House Lawmakers Ask White House to Clear Reaper UAV Sales to Jordan, UAE

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House lawmakers have called on President Donald Trump’s administration to clear the sale of General Atomics-built MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan to help address threats associated with the Islamic State militant organization, The Hill newspaper reported Tuesday.

Ellen Mitchell writes Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) led the bipartisan group of 22 policymakers to urge Trump to approve the drone sales through a letter dated Monday.

He said the sale could add $1 billion to the U.S. economy and retain manufacturing jobs in the country, the report added.

Hunter told Defense News in an interview published Tuesday that the Middle Eastern countries might turn to China if the White House fails to approve the Reaper sale.

“They are going to buy their defensive and offensive weapons somewhere, and if they buy from China, that aligns them in some aspect with China,” he added.

Joe Gould writes the Obama administration declined to approve the sale of such drones to UAE and Jordan due to the Missile Technology Control Regime.

MTCR is an agreement signed by 35 countries to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons through the use of UAVs, the report added.

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