July 4, 2021 – Canberra
I’m Mike Goldman, Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Mission to Australia.
Today, on the Fourth of July, we celebrate the United States of America’s 245th Independence Day.
My country has faced many challenges over the past 245 years.
The global COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest challenge.
But I am confident that we, together with our friends in Australia and elsewhere in the world, will get through this, and will emerge stronger and more resilient on the other side.
President Biden has said that the United States has always been a forward-looking nation. He has also said that we are only as strong as our allies and our partnerships.
Today, as we celebrate my country’s progress over the last 245 years, we also begin several months of commemorations on an equally momentous event. One that has shaped our past and will continue to shape our future. That is the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty.
Signed at the Presidio in San Francisco on September 1, 1951, the ANZUS treaty – together with our five-eyes partnership – has served as the bedrock of our relationship.
I’ve heard it said that Australia has many friends, but it only has one ally. And we Americans, we take great pride in being Australia’s only treaty ally.
Our commitments are deep, and they are reciprocal. As Americans, we will never forget that the only time the ANZUS treaty has ever been formally invoked was after September 11, 2001, when the Australian parliament swiftly passed a bipartisan motion offering Australian support after the attacks on that terrible day.
Yet, I’d suggest to you that, over the past 70 years, the ANZUS treaty has done far more than just keep us safe.
What people might not know is ANZUS is not in fact our first formal treaty. That distinction belongs to the treaty that established the Fulbright Commission, which predates ANZUS by two years.
What that shows is that our alliance is more than just defence and it’s more than just security. It is about shared values. It’s about a shared vision that governments should be – in fact they must be – “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Whether it’s providing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses, whether it’s reinvigorating our economies, or whether it’s securing our future prosperity, the United States and Australia, we’re there for each other.
Our Alliance is a force for good in the world, and especially for our friends and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Nowhere is that more in evidence than with the Quad, where the U.S.-Australia Alliance, it forms the core of an innovative partnership together with Japan and India. Together, we are showing that democracies deliver for our peoples, deliver for the region, and we deliver for the world.
As Australia’s most important economic partner, the United States accounts for seven percent of Australia’s GDP. And U.S. investment in Australia –which is by far the largest of any country in the world – it supports the high tech, high wage jobs of the future.
Looking to that future, Australia offers great potential for building resilient and secure supply chains, particularly on critical minerals and battery materials.
And we have much to gain together by partnering to develop new, green technologies and by setting new, more ambitious climate goals. As partners, we have a shared obligation to protect our planet by taking the climate crisis, taking it head on.
Just as we’ve taken on every crisis over the past 70 years.
Seventy years on, the ANZUS treaty should give us all confidence. The geostrategic environment today is much different than it was 70 years ago – and so too are the challenges.
And we will face new challenges in the decades to come. But, together, we are resilient, we’re adaptive, and we’re strong.
Bound by a shared commitment to democracy and open societies – Australians, and Americans – we are up to the challenges.
We have real work to do. And we are eager to do it. I am confident that, together, our democracies can and will deliver for our people and for the people around the world.
Thank you and I wish my fellow American citizens and our dear friends in Australia a happy, and healthy, Fourth of July!
Stay safe and please stay well.