The Trump administration is relaxing arms export restrictions, a move long sought by drone makers but one that critics say will provide little competitive edge to U.S. companies even as it alienates allies.
U.S. drone makers have complained that regulations have allowed China to sell copycat dones to U.S. allies and partners.
“We think this kind of reform is necessary in order to respond to a rapidly-changing technological environment, said R. Clarke Cooper, the assistant secretary of State for political-military affairs, in a statement. “With the growing proliferation of UAS technology, particularly by China, coupled with a growing demand for UAS for both military and commercial applications, we need to adjust U.S. policies to address U.S. national security concerns.”
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