Procurement: Set My Tech Free


May 12, 2012: American UAV manufacturers are urging the government to relax export controls for their products. The manufacturers point out that other countries are exporting aircraft similar to American UAVs and that the foreign technology is catching up with U.S. designs. In the case of Israel they already have UAV tech equal to most American stuff. This should come as no surprise, as Israel was a pioneer in UAV development and the availability of that tech made it possible for American UAV manufacturers to catch up in the last two decades. But no one stays on top in any technology for long and European and Chinese manufacturers are closing in fast. If American UAV manufacturers are not allowed to export more freely the same thing that happened in the space satellite market (where the U.S. market share went from 75 percent to 25 percent in a short period) will happen in the UAV market. What happened to satellites was not a matter of stealing technology (although there was some of that) but of other nations developing competitive tech and then exporting it with fewer restrictions.

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