WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the joint announcement from the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom regarding Pillar One of AUKUS:
“The Indo-Pacific faces a direct threat from China, and there is nothing more important than deterring Chinese aggression and making it hard for Xi Jinping to achieve his goals. I have supported the AUKUS partnership from the beginning, and welcome it moving forward to this next step.
“However, while a credible undersea capability is a critical piece of this, it will take well over a decade to deliver additional submarines to the Indo-Pacific. The Biden Administration also needs to be laser-focused on the second pillar of AUKUS – advanced capabilities. This is where AUKUS will see its earliest and most impactful wins and get more capability into the region.
“Pillar Two requires the Biden Administration to adapt its approach to export controls. Technology protection of course remains important, but our regulatory processes should not hinder cooperation with our closest allies or impact their ability to obtain the capabilities needed for their own defense or national security. I am prepared to work with the administration, Australia, and the United Kingdom to realize this ambitious partnership. There is much more work to be done.”