01 Oct 2010
Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence
Joint Media Release
Australia Welcomes US Senate’s Agreement to Ratify
Australia-US Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty
Australia welcomes the US Senate’s agreement to ratify the Australia-United States Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty.
On 29 September (US time), a resolution ratifying the Treaty was passed by the US Senate. This follows the passage of the Treaty’s implementing legislation through the US Senate on 27 September and the US House of Representatives on 28 September.
The Treaty is a significant step forward for practical defence and trade cooperation between Australia and the United States.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, said strengthening our Alliance with the US and building closer economic ties are fundamental to Australia’s national interests.
The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, said that the Treaty creates a framework for two-way trade between Australia and the US in both classified and unclassified-but-controlled defence articles without the need for export licenses.
The Treaty is expected to offer reduced delivery times for new defence projects and improve business opportunities for Australian companies to participate in US contracts.
Under the Treaty, an Approved Community of government facilities and private companies will be established in both countries, within which trade in defence articles can be undertaken without the administrative delays caused by US and Australian export control regulations.
The Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, said allowing Australian firms to develop closer links with the US Defence sector would open up 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 defence industry on implementation.
The Treaty will enter into force when both countries’ domestic ratification requirements are complete.
Minister Smith: Mary Bagnall (0434 665 067)
Minister Rudd: Kate Sieper (0466 745 615)
Minister Emerson: Mark Tavener (0410 030 262)