The current US government relishes the thought of bringing business to space, and it's now eager to make deals with countries that share the same dreams. The US has signed a memorandum of understanding with Luxembourg in a bid to cooperate further on space exploration, research and, to no one's surprise, a "business-friendly regulatory framework." Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister Étienne Schneider didn't mince words when talking about the pact -- his country is eager to make asteroid mining a reality, and the US relationship could be an "important step forward" in making use of those resources.
The US Commerce Department tempered expectations somewhat by noting that this is ultimately a "vehicle" for team-ups rather than a formal alliance. As a member of the European Union, Luxembourg can only realistically do so much without involving its EU neighbors. Still, it won't be surprising if space commerce gets a significant boost through this agreement -- even if it takes years to see the results.