On the margins of the G20 Summit in Rome in October 2021, the President of the French Republic and the President of the United States affirmed the importance of stronger and more interoperable defense industrial bases in Europe and the United States. In view of the global context and new strategic challenges our nations face, maintaining and strengthening the transatlantic partnership is essential. This requires close coordination and open dialogue between both countries, to ensure smooth trade, fair competition, and effective export controls. With the objective to foster a shared view on defense market access and to identify steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of export controls, the two governments decided to launch a U.S.-France Defense Trade Strategic Dialogue.
On this day, French and U.S. representatives met at the Eurosatory exhibition to launch this dialogue. The terms of reference for the U.S.-France Defense Trade Strategic Dialogue was signed by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Director for Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, LtGen. Thierry Carlier, Director for International Development of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces and the Honorable Jessica Lewis, Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Michael Vaccaro, Performing the Duties of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy (Acquisition & Sustainment) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) was also in attendance as the senior DoD representative and Co-Chair of the U.S. – France Cooperative Oversight of Programs (COOP).
The Dialogue is supervised by a Defense Trade Strategic Group (DTSG), that is co-chaired by senior-level members of the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense, and of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces and Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. The Co-chairs intend to meet annually after a second meeting of the Dialogue later this year.
To achieve the objectives shared by the French and U.S. presidents, the DTSG intends to review topics such as defense market access and the efficiency of transnational acquisitions; export controls – including issues related to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and French export regulations; end-use monitoring programs; and international export control regimes. The DTSG will also consult with the COOP on future discussion topics such as the cyber protection of the defense technical and industrial base.
To address these subjects, the DTSG plans to draw on existing bilateral cooperation groups, such as the COOP, and on two newly created working groups focused on export control applicability and processes and end-use monitoring programs. These two working groups are meeting this week in Paris on the margins of the DTSG Co-chairs’ meeting at the Eurosatory exhibition.