Assessing & Managing Risk
Direct Commercial Sales Reviews
The United States Government benefits directly and indirectly from transfers of military technologies or systems to foreign governments or end users. Defense technology transfers equip our international friends and allies with capabilities needed to address regional and global security concerns. Foreign sales bolster the U.S. industrial base by maintaining productivity, lowering overall defense systems’ costs and providing capital for innovation.
The Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issues and administers licenses permitting U.S. vendors to sell defense items to foreign end users. The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issues export licenses for sales of dual-use and certain defense items.
The Department of Defense’s role in the export approval process is to review proposed transfers for national security concerns and recommend one of the following: Approval, Approval with additional measures that manage the risk of diversion or misuse by foreign parties, Return for more information, or Denial. The Department’s recommendation is forwarded back to the licensing agency and is one of many USG Interagency positions State and Commerce consider when determining whether to issue the license.
DTSA, as Department of Defense’s lead agency for export license reviews, conducts in-depth national security reviews of export license requests for transfers of defense-related items referred from both State and Commerce. DTSA also works closely with Industry and International counterparts before licenses are requested to identify potential technology security or foreign disclosure issues.
The national security review gathers assessments of operational impacts from offices throughout the Department (Intra-Agency), including the Military Department (MILDEPs) - Army, Air Force, Navy - Joint Staff, Acquisition, Technology & Logistics and Policy. In addition, DTSA has its own in-house technologists (engineers and scientists), foreign affairs specialists, and information security specialists provide technology security focused recommendations.
DTSA Licensing Specialists assimilate, and often arbitrate between, diverse and sometimes opposing positions into the final DoD position with the security provisions necessary and appropriate to protect the U.S. military technological edge.