Canberra again delays implementation of Australia-US defence trade treaty
By Jon Grevatt
A parliamentary defence committee in Australia has further delayed implementation of proposed legislation intended to improve defence trade relations with the United States.
In a report tabled to the Australian Senate on 15 August, the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee said the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) needed to undertake additional "groundwork" before the legislation - the Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011 - could be enacted.
Central to the committee's concerns is the claimed lack of DoD consultation with agencies in Australia about the impact of the legislation on "intangible" aspects of defence research and development, and how enactment of the bill might be affected by US reform of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
The report noted: "Unless [the DoD] can provide assurances to the contrary, the committee believes that it would be folly to proceed with the bill at this time while the resolution of important matters remains outstanding." The report said that it expected the DoD to "find a solution suitable for all stakeholders" by the end of 2012.173 of 635 words
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