In Science Fiction, Earth is often threatened by a variety of space-based enemies from evil robots to malevolent Martians. However, in reality, the greatest barrier to America revitalizing its moribund commercial space launch and manufacturing industries is none other than the United States Government itself, a force that would leave even Klingons weak with fear and dread. Specifically, the obsolete and poorly enforced International Traffic in Arms Regulations ("ITAR") have become an albatross around U.S. companies' necks, stifling innovation and stunting development. The great irony is that, in stark contrast to U.S. export control's twin policy goals of maintaining domestic preeminence in the aerospace field and supporting national security, the ITAR is having exactly the opposite effect. Since 1999, when all space-related systems were returned to the United States Munitions List ("USML"), America's leadership in commercial space capabilities has eroded, while Russian, European, and Asian entities have expanded and deepened their growing dominance.
Michael N. Gold,
The Wrong Stuff: America's Aerospace Export Control Crisis,
87 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol87/iss2/7