Australia-U.S. seek common ground on trade, China

Australia-U.S. seek common ground on trade, China


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and U.S. President Donald Trump highlighted common ground between them during Turnbull’s visit to Washington in late February 2018.

“The relationship we have with Australia is a terrific relationship and probably stronger now than ever before,” Trump said, according to Reuters.

Turnbull said he sought more transparency and competitive global energy markets and cooperation on high-quality infrastructure investment in the United States and in the Indo-Pacific region.

The two world leaders spent nearly four hours together. (Pictured: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump speak with reporters at the White House on February 23, 2018.)

“The American-Australian alliance is rock solid and based on a common purpose: to promote peace and prosperity,” according to a joint statement. “Our friendship is underpinned by a deep alignment of interests and our societies’ shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. We recognize that it is more important than ever to defend our interests, values and way of life.”

The two leaders stated their commitment to fostering an Indo-Pacific region where all countries abide by international law. Together, they pledged to protect the integrity of their institutions and counter threats faced from terrorism, cyber activity and transnational crime.

“And we remain united in our resolve to confront the most serious threat to peace in our region — the North Korean regime’s illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons,” a joint statement read. “Across the Indo-Pacific, our two nations are committed to deepening our engagement with our allies and all partners. We reaffirm our commitment to seek all opportunities to strengthen our alliance through practical initiatives that implement our shared objectives.”

One shared objective remains how to deal with a rising China, a topic on the agenda during Turnbull’s visit.

“There are people that want to try to paint the United States and its allies like Australia as being against China in some sort of rerun of the Cold War,” Turnbull said, according to Reuters. “But … that is not accurate.”

Trump said U.S. relations with China had improved, but those could go sour over trade disagreements.

“That can be the only thing that can get in the way of a truly long-term great relationship, because we have all the ingredients for friendship,” Trump said, according to Reuters.

Trump and Turnbull said they’re working together to ensure that the international trading system is rooted in market-based principles, the rule of law, fair competition and good economic governance.

“Our governments are working together to make that system more resilient to growing challenges and to ensure it continues to deliver prosperity and economic stability to the American and Australian peoples, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world,” their joint statement said.