Trump may halt civilian drone program over China tech concerns

(Reuters) – The U.S. is planning to permanently halt its civilian drone program as the devices are being made in China, at least partly. The U.S. Department of the Interior is contemplating halting about 1,000 drones after deciding that the risk of the drones being used by Beijing for spying was extremely high.

David Bernhardt, Secretary of the Interior has not signed an official policy but is planning to pull the fleet from action, with exceptions for emergencies such as fighting wildfires and training.

China’s SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, the world’s largest commercial drone maker, said that while it has not seen the new policy, it is looking forward to reviewing the findings of U.S. department, given the lack of credible evidence to support a restriction on drone technology.

“We urge policymakers and industry stakeholders to come together to create clear standards that will give commercial and government drone operators the assurance they need to confidently evaluate drone technology no matter where it is made,” the company added.

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