Akin Gump Trade Lawyers Author Chapter on Outer Space Law

Akin Gump international trade partners Thomas McCarthy and Jasper Helder, counsel Chiara Klaui and associate Brad Powell have written the chapter “International trade aspects of outer space activities,” published in the book Outer Space Law: Legal Policy and Practice.

The chapter offers an introduction to several regulatory areas of international trade, focusing on the legal regimes in the United States and European Union. It also looks at trade-related aspects of international agreements relating to outer space activities and provides some best practices and compliance tips.

The authors begin with an overview of export controls “because they represent some of the most significant restrictions on the free exchange of space-related hardware, technology, software and services between different countries.” They then look at various sanctions laws and how they affect the space industry, citing as an example the imposition of sanctions by the United States against China following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, which included the suspension of export licenses for U.S.-manufactured satellites contracted to be launched in China. The article also covers import controls and customs-related trade issues as well as other international agreements.

The article concludes by noting that international trade laws and regulations affect a wide range of outer space activities. There is a need, the authors write, “for integrating trade compliance considerations into business planning,” which, in the end, can help minimize “financial, legal, and operational harm, promote efficiency, and catalyze innovation across borders and beyond.”

To read the full chapter, please click here.