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Years ago I witnessed the owner of a Staten Island car dealership talking to his sales staff about their end-of-model-year sale. The dealership owner flogged and lashed about incentives, rebates and financing, but the message was singular: We’re here to deal! I was reminded of this on April 19, 2018, when our current President issued National Security Presidential Memorandum No. NSPM-10 (the Memorandum) outlining the new Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy. While it’s incongruous to equate the sale of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter with a Nissan, the new CAT policy is clear: We’re here to deal!

Viewed by some as another prong of the administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” edict, the new CAT Policy is one of several National Security Council efforts to streamline international arms sales. To ensure its success, the administration has deputized all government officials as its sales force. What’s more, these folks are enthusiastic: “Under this administration, there will be no prouder and more active advocate for U.S. sales than the U.S. government itself,” White House trade chief Peter Navarro said.

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