US eases export rules on aerospace parts

The United States on Tuesday eased rules on the export of select items in the aerospace industry, in an effort to reduce regulations that are thought to be putting American firms at a disadvantage.

The State Department said it was moving a series of "less sensitive items" from the US Munitions List, which regulates exports, to a separate list maintained by the Commerce Department and seen by industry as less strenuous.

"These reforms will allow the US government to better focus on controlling the export of sensitive technologies remaining on the US Munitions List while streamlining exports of defense-related items to US allies and partners around the world," a State Department statement said.

The items include parts and components related to aircraft and gas turbine engines, areas that the State Department said accounted for more than $20 billion in annual exports.

US-friendly nations and American businesses have long complained about excessive restrictions in the United States. India, which is planning major investment in its defense, has cited such regulations as a reason to look at competing products from Europe and Russia.

The changes are the first to be finalized since President Barack Obama in 2009 announced an initiative to reform export controls, with more far-reaching changes under study.