The United States will now consider authorising export of non-lethal defence materials to Vietnam, under a policy shift announced by the US Department of State on Tuesday April 3.
The State Department has amended the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regarding Vietnam to make it US policy to consider on a case-by-case basis licenses or other approvals of exports or imports of non-lethal defence articles and services destined for or originating in Vietnam.
The change follows US President George W Bush’s announcement last fall, ahead of his attendance at the APEC Leaders Meeting in Hanoi, to order this policy change, an order he subsequently issued in determination December 29, 2006.
Bush’s determination stated that the furnishing of defence articles and services to Vietnam would strengthen the security of the US and promote world peace.
Under the policy to be newly applied to Vietnam, the export of lethal items, their components, non-lethal crowd control articles and services, and night vision devices with a role in ground security would not be approved.