For more than a century, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been looking out for the interests of American businesses. And, in some cases U.S. Chamber members have been investing in Australia for more than a century as well. JP Morgan –represented here tonight by Derek Berlin and Luke Palmerlee – has been in Australia in one way, shape, or form for nearly 140 years! Neither Derek nor Luke has been here the whole time. Just so we’re clear.
I’m also pleased to say that the U.S. business community has made outstanding contributions here in Australia. Hundreds of our most successful companies – including quite a few represented here tonight – have operations in Australia that provide jobs and income for both Australians and Americans.
We also have representatives here from Chevron and ConocoPhillips this evening. Both Chevron and ConocoPhillips are currently constructing some of the largest resource projects in Australia’s history – at Gorgon and Wheatstone and Gladstone. These will help make Australia the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2020.
Since the implementation of the U.S.-Australia free trade agreement in 2005, our bilateral trade of goods and services has risen to approximately $60 billion. We are the largest foreign investor in Australia. Our FDI at the end of last year was $132 billion.
The historic partnership between our two countries is deep and far reaching. And I’m pleased that the Chamber – including all of the companies represented tonight – is continuing your long tradition of contributing to both Australia and the global economy at this week’s B20 Summit.
But I believe there is much more we can accomplish with great partners like Australia. So we need to keep working to expand our trade and investment ties.
The Australian government’s leadership of the G20 this year has been truly remarkable. Like us, Australia – and its business community – recognizes that by working together through the G20 and B20, we can create a more prosperous global economy for everyone.
But we need to go even further and work hard to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement so that we can bring down barriers to trade and investment, protect intellectual property, protect innovation and research, and improve the market for our goods and services. 21st century businesses deserve a 21st century trade environment. And we are working hard to make that a reality.
Together, American and Australian companies will push the limits of the possible. Working together, we will design, power, and build the world of tomorrow.
So, if I can finish up with a quote from The Lego Movie – brought to us by our friends at Time Warner and Sydney’s Animal Logic Studio – “Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!” And with Australia, we have a pretty awesome team.
And that is good business for everyone.