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Appendix 17A. US export controls



I. Introduction

II. Controlling exports of defence items and services

III. End-use monitoring

IV. Oversight and transparency

V. Current issues in US defence trade policy and arms export controls

VI. The future of US defence trade controls


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Appendix 17A analyses US export controls. The USA is the world’s largest arms exporter and has great influence over the global arms trade. Arms transfers from the USA are governed by a combination of legislation, regulations and presidential directives and are administered by the departments of State and Defense, which are also responsible for end-use monitoring. Oversight is undertaken by the US Congress and the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). A January 2004 GAO report criticized the State Department’s end-use monitoring of cruise missile and unmanned air vehicle exports. Recent controversies include a proposal to waive licence requirements for certain British and Australian companies and the role of arms sales in the ‘international war on terrorism’.