The House approved an amendment to the 213 defense authorization bill that would alter restrictions on exporting U.S.-made commercial satellites, Kate Brannen reports for Defense News.
Lawmakers agreed by voice vote to language in the bill that would allow commercial satellites to be moved from the U.S. Munitions List to the dual-use Commerce Control list.
Under the amendment, the Commerce Department would oversee exports to allies and partners, reversing a change made in 1999 to put the State Department in charge of SATCOM exports, Brannen writes.
According to the report, commercial satellite components are the only items under USML licensing jurisdiction by law as a result of concerns that nations were gaining access to U.S. technologies.
Under the amendment, satellite providers cannot export to China, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea and Syria, according to Brannen’s report.
Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush told a group of industry and congressional executives earlier in May that the U.S. risks losing its competitive edge if industry is unable to more easily export unmanned aircraft for commercial use.
Bush suggested that the unmanned aerial vehicle market should also see eased export restrictions that satellite technologies are receiving.
The House is scheduled to vote on the defense bill Friday.