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After months of negotiations, the United States, Europe, Russia, Canada, and Japan successfully reached an Intergovernmental Agreement for the ISS. The signing ceremony took place on January 29, 1998, at DoS in Washington, D.C., and drew considerable press coverage.

On September 22, 1998, President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Obuchi signed the U.S.-Japan joint statement on GPS, pledging that the United States and Japan would work together to promote broad and effective use of GPS. The joint statement was the result of 2 years of discussions between the two governments on issues related to expanding civilian use of GPS.

Cooperation between the United States and Japan—the world's two largest producers of GPS user equipment—is expected to promote international acceptance of GPS for civilian applications and help create a stable international playing field so that U.S. industry can take full advantage of a rapidly growing multibillion dollar market. International negotiations on GPS remained a high priority at DoS, with ongoing negotiations with Europe and Russia, as well as with Japan.

DoS continued to promote foreign policy and national security interests as the interagency lead in considering exports of U.S.-origin commercial remote-sensing systems. DoS controls the export of all U.S. Munitions List items, including remote-sensing satellites and Earth stations under the Arms Export Control Act.

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The International Space Station (ISS) presents the opportunity for several nations to work together toward a singular goal.

In FY 1998, DoS concluded a bilateral Technical Safeguard Agreement (TSA) with the Ukraine and began discussions toward a bilateral TSA with Russia and a trilateral TSA with Russia and Kazakhstan. These agreements are designed to protect U.S. satellite and missile technology and allow U.S. industry to launch satellites from foreign locations.

In addition, DoS served as the lead agency for U.S. delegations to meetings of the INTELSAT and INMARSAT member countries, successfully gaining agreement to privatize INMARSAT and restructure INTELSAT. It also provided policy guidance to COMSAT, the U.S. signatory to the organizations. DoS officials also promoted access to overseas markets for commercial satellite companies, including negotiating a landmark bilateral satellite services agreement with Argentina, and worked to resolve complex problems of orbit and spectrum availability.

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