(US, AU) Congress lays groundwork for AUKUS export control reform
Congress on Wednesday took the first step in what is expected to be a lengthy effort to overhaul U.S. export control laws in order to expedite technology cooperation needed to implement a central pillar of the AUKUS trilateral agreement with Australia and the U.K.
The House passed a bill 393-4 directing the State Department and Pentagon to submit information on defense export licenses necessary to collaborate with the U.S. allies on hypersonic weapons, quantum technologies and quantum technologies. These technologies form what is known as pillar two of the AUKUS agreement, which all three countries view as critical to filling capability gaps before Australia receives U.S. and U.K. nuclear-powered submarines over the next two decades under pillar one.
Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut, the top Democrat on the Armed Services seapower subcommittee, told Defense News that he pushed throughout the past year to “get a circuit-breaker type of mechanism” that would expedite technology sharing arrangements with Australia and the U.K. to alleviate private sector concerns about potential violations of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations regime, or ITAR.