The White House
Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release March 10, 1994

Fact Sheet
Foreign Access To Remote Sensing Space Capabilities

Background

Remote sensing from space provides scientific, industrial, civil governmental, military and individual users with the capacity to gather data for a variety of useful purposes. The Us Government operates very high resolution space- based reconnaissance systems for intelligence and military purposes. These systems are among the most valuable Us national security assets because of their high quality data collection, timeliness, and coverage and the capability they provide to monitor events around the world on a near real-time basis. More nations have discovered the value of these satellites and are developing their own indigenous capabilities, or are seeking the purchase of data or systems.

Policy Goal

The fundamental goal of our policy is to support and to enhance Us industrial competitiveness in the field of remote sensing space capabilities while at the same time protecting Us national security and foreign policy interests. Success in this endeavor will contribute to maintaining our critical industrial base, advancing Us technology, creating economic opportunities, strengthening the Us balance of payments, enhancing national influence, and promoting regional stability.

Scope of Policy

The policy covers foreign access to remote sensing space systems, technology, products, and data. With respect to commercial licenses, this would include operating licenses granted under the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 and export licenses for certain items controlled on the Us Munitions List (Usml). While the policy will define certain restrictions for export of items on the Usml, export of items on either the Usml or the Commerce Control List (Ccl) would continue to be licensed in accord with existing law and regulations.

Licensing and Operation of Private Remote Sensing Systems

License requests by Us firms to operate private remote sensing space systems will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 (the Act). There is a presumption that remote sensing space systems whose performance capabilities and imagery quality characteristics are available or are planned for availability in the world marketplace (e.g., Spot, Landsat, etc.) will be favorably considered, and that the following conditions will apply to any Us entity that receives an operating license under the Act.

Transfer of Advanced Remote Sensing Capabilities

1. Advanced Remote Sensing System Exports: The United States will consider requests to export advanced remote sensing systems whose performance capabilities and imagery quality characteristics are available or are planned for availability in the world marketplace on a case-by-case basis.

The details of these potential sales should take into account the following:

Approval of requests for exports of systems would also require certain diplomatic steps be taken, such as informing other close friends in the region of the request, and the conditions we would likely attach to any sale; and informing the recipient of our decision and the conditions we would require as part of the sale.

Any system made available to a foreign government or other foreign entity may be subject to a formal government-to- government agreement.

Transfer of Sensitive Technology

The United States will consider applications to export sensitive components, subsystems, and information concerning remote sensing space capabilities on a restricted basis. Sensitive technology in this situation consists of items of technology on the Us Munitions List necessary to develop or to support advanced remote sensing space capabilities and which are uniquely available in the United States. Such sensitive technology shall be made available to foreign entities only on the basis of a government-to-government agreement. This agreement may be in the form of end-use and retransfer assurances which can be tailored to ensure the protection of Us technology.

Government-to-Government Intelligence and Defense Partnerships

Proposals for intelligence or defense partnerships with foreign countries regarding remote sensing that would raise questions about Us Government competition with the private sector or would change the Us Government's use of funds generated pursuant to a Us-foreign government partnership arrangement shall be submitted for interagency review.

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