Australia welcomes Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty with U.S.

12:22, October 02, 2010      

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Australia on Saturday welcomes the U.S. Senate's agreement to ratify the Australia-United States Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty.

The Treaty is a significant step forward for practical defense and trade cooperation between Australia and the United States, because Australia will now find it easier to access sensitive U.S. defense technology, after the U.S. Senate finally agreed to ratify the treaty, launched by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and former U.S. President George Bush three years ago.

Defense Minister Stephen Smith said the treaty created a framework for two-way trade in classified and unclassified-but- controlled defense articles without the need for export licenses.

"The Treaty is expected to offer reduced delivery times for new defense projects and improve business opportunities for Australian companies to participate in U.S. contracts," he said in a statement.

The U.S. imposed tight controls on exports of its defense equipment, particularly advanced technology. Any sale requires a complex and protracted bureaucratic process.

According to Australia Associated Press, Australia has long experienced difficulties with the complexity and delay.

However, under the Treaty, an approved community of government facilities and private companies will now be established in both countries. In those, trade in defense articles can be undertaken without the administrative delays caused by U.S. and Australian export control regulations.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson said allowing Australian firms to develop closer links with the U.S. defense sector would open important export opportunities.

"The government will now take all necessary steps to complete Australia's domestic ratification requirements, including introducing implementing legislation into parliament and consulting the defense industry on implementation," Emerson said in a statement.

The Treaty will enter into force when both countries' domestic ratification requirements are complete.

Source: Xinhua


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