reciprocal defense procurement memoranda of understanding
(NATO/USA) Reciprocal memoranda of understanding (MOU) are broad bilateral umbrella MOUs that seek to reduce trade barriers on defense procurement. They usually call for the waiver of “buy national” restrictions, customs and duties to allow the contractors of the signatories to participate, on a competitive basis, in the defense procurement of the other country. These agreements were designed in the late 1970’s to promote rationalization, standardization, and interoperability of defense equipment within NATO. At that time, the MOUs were also intended to reduce the large defense trade advantage the United States possessed over the European allies. The first agreements were signed in 1978. See memorandum of understanding.