Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Italian Minister of Defense Ignazio La Russa today signed an updated Reciprocal Defense Procurement Memorandum of Understanding which allows effective defense cooperation by establishing principles and procedures recognized by both governments for the conduct of defense procurements. Under this agreement each government provides access to its defense market to the industry of the other country.
The MOU allows each country specific benefits on a reciprocal basis, consistent with national laws and regulations. These include provisions for duty-free certificates and in most cases the evaluation of offers without applying price differentials under “buy national” laws.
The United States and Italy established and maintained understandings relating to reciprocal defense procurement since 1978. The MOU was last extended in November 1990.
The MOU promotes rationalization, standardization, and interoperability of defense equipment with allies and other allied governments. It provides a framework for on-going communication regarding market access and procurement matters affecting effective defense cooperation.