Report: Trump Mulls New Policy to Ease Foreign Arms Sale Restrictions

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President Donald Trump is set to issue an executive order or a presidential memorandum this fall that seeks to relax restrictions on foreign sales of U.S. weapons systems as part of the administration’s “arms transfer initiative,” Politico reported Friday.

Three officials with the Trump administration told Politico the National Security Council leads the initiative that aims to increase U.S. manufacturers’ competitiveness as the country’s allies ramp up procurement of missile defense systems, fighter jets, warships, ground vehicles and other military equipment.

The officials said the White House considers implementing changes to policies such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Conventional Arms Transfer Policy and could release an executive order as early as October.

The departments of Defense, State and Commerce also participate in the arms transfer program through development of proposals for evaluation by the White House, the officials noted.

NSC issued a statement to Politico saying the administration has started a review of the country’s arms sales policies to pave the way for U.S. companies to compete.

“The Trump administration is pursuing a deliberate approach to our arms export policy, ensuring that such sales better align with our national security and foreign policy objectives as well as economic imperatives for American jobs,” NSC said in the statement.

News on the initiative came weeks after senior U.S. officials said the White House intends to transfer oversight of exports of nonmilitary firearms from the State Department to the Commerce Department to increase small arms sales overseas and create jobs.

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