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US Exports Facing Delays due to Furloughs, Sequester

Jun. 18, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  

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PARIS — Military equipment deals that require technical review will face a longer waiting period because of furloughs triggered by sequestration, a US Defense Department official said Tuesday at the Paris Air Show.

The furloughs, set to begin July 8, will result in delays, said Rizwan Ramakdawala, senior aerospace engineer at Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA). The reviews include items sold through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) system and certain commercial sales.

“The processing times will be affected,” Ramakdawala said. “We are all going to be furloughed come July 8, there will be a 20 percent reduction in workforce availability at DTSA, so you can definitely expect to see delays. We are not sure of any other way to avoid it.”

DTSA is responsible for the technical review of sales to verify that sensitive technology is not exported inappropriately or accidentally.

The extent of the delays is unknown, and likely won’t become clear until late July when the furloughs are in place.

Ramakdawala was speaking on a panel of US officials organized by the US Pavilion at the Paris Air Show. The panel was discussing recent efforts to reform the export control system. The initial batch of reforms, made official in April, move items that are not unique to defense products off of the US munitions list and into the hands of the Commerce Department, which has a simpler export process.

Officials on the panel said four more categories of items, to follow the two launched in April that included aircraft and engines, will soon be made official as well. The new categories will cover vehicles, ships, miscellaneous parts and submarines. ■

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