Defense Contractors: Are You Locked And Loaded For Foreign Sales?

Posted by douglasburdett

With recent changes to U.S. law aimed at reducing red tape, American aerospace and defense contractors now have more of an edge in selling to foreign countries.  

defense contractor international sales photo credit: André Gustavo Stumpf via photopin cc

Recently, as part of the President's Export Control Reform Initiative, the U.S. State Department moved a number of highly regulated items from the U.S. Munitions List to the less regulated Commerce Control List.

This means that items such as aircraft, military aircraft parts, and gas turbine engines can now be sold to foreign nations with a lot less bureaucratic red tape.

And this is just the beginning. Soon, ground combat vehicles and war vessels will move from State to Commerce Department control. In fact, every category is being reviewed, and if an item is judged to be "less sensitive" it will be moved to the Commerce Control List.

Selling to foreign nations is different than selling to the Pentagon. And for a number of small- to medium-sized aerospace and defense contractors, that requires increasing their familiarity with the details how it's done.

The Commonwealth of Virginia (10% of its economy comes from defense) recently initiated an effort to help defense contractors step up their exports. The Going Global Defense Initiative is aimed at helping Virginia’s defense-related companies diversify into new international markets.

Part of the marketing efforts that Virginia is offering to those defense contractors selected to participate in the Going Global Defense Initiative (space is limited to 30 companies) includes search engine optimization, website translation and other marketing assistance.

Linked below are two posts that might be helpful for defense contractors looking to brush up on international marketing, particularly online best practices:

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership has released an export guide for defense companies titled Export Opportunities for Virginia's Defense Industry (shown below in SlideShare format). The guide outlines regulations, processes and strategies specific to the defense industry, and contains marketing and sales best practices for both new and experienced exporters. The guide is a helpful primer on international sales for U.S. defense contractors (even if not based in Virginia).

Click here to read "Huge Win for Defense Contractors: U.S. Weapons Sales Just Got Easier" via The Motley Fool.


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