Saturday 24 February 2018
Strengthening ties between Australia and the USA
The alliance between Australia and the United States has been broadened and deepened by my visit to Washington D.C.
In a reflection of the ongoing importance of the relationship, I held a successful meeting with President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office at the White House.
Our fourth meeting focused on regional and global threats such as North Korea, the strong economic ties between our two nations, and our shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
I welcome the President’s announcement of tough new sanctions on North Korea.
There are no greater friends than Australia and the United States.
Our two nations share a long history of friendship and cooperation and today remain the strongest of allies.
For 100 years, since the Battle of Hamel, when U.S. and Australian troops first fought side by side, our two nations have faced every challenge together.
Maintaining and strengthening this alliance is the vital responsibility of every Prime Minister, and this visit to Washington has succeeded in extending links across a range of areas.
The President and I agreed that Australia and the United States will strengthen our collaboration on a range of important issues. We intend to work together to support high-quality infrastructure in Australia, the United States and Indo-Pacific region, including through a Memorandum of Understanding to support infrastructure investment.
We launched the Australia-United States Strategic Partnership on Energy in the Indo-Pacific, and intend to work together on strategic minerals exploration, extraction, processing, and research and development of rare earths and high performance metals.
And Australia and the United States have agreed to intensify cooperation to support the growth of digital trade between our countries, including to help our small and medium-sized enterprises and their employees succeed in the digital economy.
The President announced that the U.S. Navy would name a future Littoral Combat Ship, to be built at the Austal shipyard in Mobile, the USS CANBERRA. This rare honour is an enduring symbol of our alliance and shared objective for a safe and secure world.
I also met with Vice President Mike Pence, Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Department of Defense Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford Jr.
Together, we look forward to working ever more closely together in these challenging times on the basis of trust, mutual respect, and mateship to shape a secure and prosperous century to come.