Rasmussen to appoint special envoy to open defense markets within NATO

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, September 11, 2011

From Keith Weir, Reuters:  The United States and European countries should do more to open up their defence markets to competition at a time of tight budgets, the head of NATO said on Monday.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also said he planned to appoint a special envoy to help ensure that countries were getting value for money for defence spending.

"We need equal opportunities for European Union and American defence companies to compete across the Atlantic," Rasmussen told an industry conference in London.

He noted that 90 percent of the Pentagon’s procurement budget went to U.S. companies, while Europe often favoured its own contractors.

Rasmussen welcomed moves by U.S. President Barack Obama to reform export licensing programmes which should allow U.S. companies to play a greater role in Europe. . . .

Rasmussen said he wanted a specific package of mulitlateral measures to be on the table in time for the next NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.   (photo: Getty)

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