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Christopher Stagg Discusses ITAR Concerns Regarding Australia Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine AUKUS Trilateral Deal in Law360

"Practicalities Loom Larger than Policy for Aussie Sub Deal"


Christopher Stagg discussed U.S. export control concerns around AUKUS, a trilateral defense pact among the U.S., U.K., and Australia to cooperate on various defense technologies and that will most notably allow Australia to access U.S. technologies for nuclear-powered submarines. To carry out that technology transfer, it will require export licensing approvals, such as under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and coordination with the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, and State. "There's this broad agreement about the principle of it…[b]ut then, with export controls, there can be [a situation where] we agree with the principle but maybe not some of the specifics," Stagg said. He further noted that there is a provision in the ITAR under section 126.15 that requires expedited processing of license applications of ITAR-controlled items to Australia that may help and that Congress can "amend the Arms Export Control Act" as the enabling statute for the ITAR to "create an exemption for this program, or even more broadly."