WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on AUKUS legislation:
“The AUKUS agreement has the potential to be transformative for the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. However, we must match words with tangible actions in order to realize the near- and long-term deliverables of the agreement.
“The AUKUS bill included in the state authorization package the committee voted on today reflects a compromise that advances both pillars of the AUKUS agreement. First, it lays out a prudent path forward to aiding Australia in the acquisition of nuclear powered, conventionally armed submarines. The bill endorses the broad concept of pillar 1 and signals our understanding of its potential to contribute to stability and deterrence in the Indo-Pacific.
“More immediately, on pillar 2, this text facilitates innovation and collaboration between the defense industries of the AUKUS partners. Given the current competitive environment, we urgently need to work with our partners and remove bureaucratic barriers that limit cooperation. This bill changes our approach to defense trade with our closest allies, the Australia and the United Kingdom – both of whom have an outstanding record in protecting U.S. technology. Further, the changes made to U.S. regulations will allow for more seamless defense innovation and trade among the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom and reduce some of the barriers that encumber our ability to compete with China. ”