Price tag aside, one of the biggest obstacles to the success of AUKUS is export controls. Stakeholders in all three AUKUS countries are increasingly concerned that the United States International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) present a significant challenge to the timely sharing of equipment, information, and technology between the three countries. These challenges are not new, but the stakes have never been higher. Realising the full potential of AUKUS hinges on timely ITAR reform. Indeed, ITAR reform is essential to the delivery of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines under AUKUS Pillar I and fostering genuinely trilateral collaboration on advanced capabilities under AUKUS Pillar II.

How might ITAR provisions hamper the implementation of the AUKUS agreement? Why did previous efforts to reform US export controls for Australia and the United Kingdom fall short? What sorts of revisions are being considered across the US system? Is the best route to enduring ITAR reform through legislative action or an executive order?

In a report released prior to this webinar, non-resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Dr William Greenwalt and USSC Research Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence program Tom Corben tackled these questions and provided a roadmap towards reforming ITAR to realise the full potential of AUKUS. The Centre hosted a webinar with the authors, along with USSC non-resident fellow Jennifer Jackett, for a discussion on reforming US export controls to realise the potential of AUKUS.