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Trump Issues New Conventional Arms Transfer Policy

President Donald Trump has signed a new memorandum that establishes a new policy on conventional arms transfers in support of the country’s economic and national security interests and in compliance with the Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

The new conventional arms transfer policy seeks to keep the U.S. technological edge over potential enemies; build up the defense industrial base to generate jobs; advance research and development; and expand partnerships that aim to extend the country’s global influence, according to the presidential memo published Thursday.

The memo calls for the secretary of State to work with secretaries of the departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce to develop and submit a proposed action plan for the policy’s implementation to the White House within the next two months.

The proposed plan should include short- and long-term measures the U.S. government should implement to build up its ability to communicate and support weapons transfers in support of national security interests and state the financial and staff resources to execute the policy “with minimal increase in the total of otherwise budgeted funds, with offsets identified if necessary.”

The policy also directs the secretaries of four federal agencies to draft a program that would align the country’s export policy for unmanned aircraft systems with economic and national security interests.

“The initiative should address the status of, and recommend next steps for, [Missile Technology Control Regime] adoption of revised controls for MTCR Category I UAS, consistent with the UAS export policy,” the memo added.

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