William & Mary Business Law Review


The United States has a strong reputation for being at the forefront of space exploration. The commercial space industry in the United States is flourishing, yet the United States government is not effectively using its resources to help the industry. Currently, the United States government has some policies in place that promote the private space sector. Nonetheless, the government favors its own failing agency, NASA, by giving it extra benefits in the form of exemptions from import duties. Extending an exemption from import duties to the commercial space industry, however, would have several beneficial effects on the United States that the government should want to pursue: (1) production costs for producers would decrease, leading to lower costs for consumers and a more productive industry; (2) space “production” would increase and would help the United States keep its place at the forefront of the space community in the face of rapidly increasing competition; and (3) the United States would be better prepared for the innovative and sophisticated space endeavors that we are likely to see in the future. Following in the footsteps of other progressive nations by extending an import duty exemption, and shifting the focus from the public to the private sector, is a practical approach for the United States to bolster the commercial space industry and remain competitive with the rest of the world.