VIDEO: Kaine Highlights Importance of Australia-UK-US Partnership For National Security, Hampton Roads Economy
Video of Senator Kaine’s remarks is available here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) hearing, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of SFRC and Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, highlighted the importance of the Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) partnership and his work to make sure the AUKUS agreement—in which Australia will purchase Virginia-class submarines—is implemented effectively. The AUKUS partnership is critical to strengthening the United States’ alliances in the region and helping ensure the Indo-Pacific remains free and open. Because a significant portion of Virginia-class submarines are built in Hampton Roads, this agreement also creates opportunity for further job creation and economic growth in Hampton Roads.
“AUKUS is a great example of how the U.S. can work hand in hand with allies to promote stability in the Indo-Pacific, and it’s a good example of the way we do things globally,” said Kaine. “From my vantage point on the Foreign Relations Committee and as Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee of Armed Services, this AUKUS partnership is very exciting to me, and it’s also exciting because the Virginia-class submarines are built in Virginia and Connecticut.”
“We should use this historic opportunity of the Australian investment to enhance our ability to meet the production goals that we’re talking about,” Kaine said, emphasizing how Australia’s investment in the United States’ submarine industrial base will bolster our shipbuilding industry. “The only way we can do that in a timely way is through the first step of the Virginia-class deliverables. Their investment in our industrial base together with our own investment is going to get us there and benefit both American security and the security of Australia and regions of the nation.”
Kaine has been a leader in championing the AUKUS partnership. In July, Kaine, along with Australian Ambassador to the United States and former Prime Minister of Australia Dr. Kevin Rudd and U.S. Under Secretary of the Navy Erik Raven, visited Hampton Roads to discuss the importance of the AUKUS agreement. Kaine secured provisions to implement and strengthen AUKUS in the State Department authorization bill that was voted out of SFRC with strong bipartisan support.
Kaine has long advocated for robust support for Virginia’s shipbuilding industry. He secured provisions in this year’s Senate version of the annual defense bill to share and collaborate on technologies crucial to the alliance’s long-term security and ensure that the United States is able to fulfill the AUKUS agreement and our other shipbuilding needs, including by further investing in shipbuilding, improving acquisition processes, expanding defense industrial base capacity, and supporting workforce development initiatives.