Trump’s Push to Boost Lethal Drone Exports Reaps Few Rewards

More than six months after the Trump administration rolled out a new set of regulations promising to make it easier to sell American-made military drones abroad, no new sales have been made, and drone-makers are frustrated by the lack of concrete results.

Experts agree the administration has a genuine desire to ease the restrictions as part of a broader initiative to boost the competitiveness of U.S. products in a booming international market increasingly dominated by the Chinese. The challenge, according to observers and industry sources, is enforcing the new policy across a government bureaucracy that is both spread thin and stubbornly averse to change.

“I know senior Commerce and Defense Department leadership want to see change, but we’ve seen little to none thus far in actual exports of advanced UAS,” said Ben Schwartz, the executive director of the Defense and Aerospace Export Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, referring to unmanned

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