Signing of the Australia-US Treaty on Defence Trade Cooperation during APEC is expected to have significant benefits for Australian industry with improved access for Australian industry to sensitive US technology and the removal of barriers that will simplify the process for sharing equipment, information, spare parts, services and technical data.
In particular, reducing the time and resources required when dealing with US defence industry will reduce costs for the Australian industry. It will provide more opportunities for increasing trade and more jobs by enhancing the competitiveness of Australian companies.
Last year 2361 export licences and 312 technical data agreements were approved for Australia. At a conservative estimate at least half of these approvals, which can take 90 days or more, will no longer be required under the Treaty. This will save hundreds of person-years of processing time and, through certainty, reduce delays to project schedules by months each year.
One of the significant benefits expected for industry will be certainty with regard to workforce planning. Previously, with companies having to wait for licenses to be approved, some elements of the industry workforce may have been in limbo for long periods of time.
Another significant benefit is in relation to ‘retransfers’ of technology. The new arrangement means that once equipment has been received it will be transferable between companies who are part of Australia's approved community without the need for further US Government approvals.
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