US to reduce licensing by 80 per cent for UK, Australia

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The US Commerce Department is scaling back export control requirements for Australia and the United Kingdom to foster defence trade under the three countries’ AUKUS security pact, reducing licensing burdens.

Under a rule changed posted by Commerce on Thursday (local time), US export licensing for the UK and Australia will be nearly the same as Canada.

AUKUS, formed by the three countries in 2021, is a partnership to enhance security and defence co-operation and address common concerns related to China.

The new rule allows Commerce-controlled military items, missile technology and hot engine items to be exported to Australia and the UK without a licence, including certain satellite related items, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said in a statement.

The streamlined controls will reduce licensing requirements for exports to Australia and the UK by 80 per cent, or more than $US7.5 billion ($11.7 billion) annually, BIS said.

“This is a major change,” Kevin Wolf, a trade lawyer and former Commerce official, said of the new rules.

“It eliminates almost all Commerce export controls on the UK and Australia.”

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