My thanks to Todd Creeger for sponsoring this breakfast… and Gordon Flake—from the USAsia Centre—for moderating.
Former Secretary Clinton launched the Centre when she was here in 2012 and Gordon has done a tremendous job with it since then.
I’d also like to thank author, Penelope Williamson and Ambassador Kim Beazley.
It’s a pleasure to be here today to meet with the WA business community and Am Cham members. I always feel at home here in Western Australia – and not just because of the Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle. U.S. energy and mining companies are making huge contributions here.
Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Apache are on the cutting edge of U.S. investment.
As much as $100 billion of the $132 billion of U.S. foreign direct investment is in this state. You create jobs and contribute to the prosperity of Western Australia – and America.
So you know as well as anyone that the key to our work in the region – and in Australia – is strong partnerships and cooperation. We cannot succeed in solving the region’s problems on our own. Fortunately, we have no better friend than Australia.
Security cooperation has always been a cornerstone of our alliance. As partners, we are dedicated to the idea that regional peace and security are the shared duty of every country in the region – and that they are inextricably linked with economic prosperity. Our cooperation on this front is strong – and growing stronger.
Our Marine training rotation in Darwin grew from 250 to 1100 this year. These rotations help build the partnerships that are essential to cooperation in a crisis – whether made by man or Mother Nature.
In the productive and wide ranging discussions at AUSMIN last week, it was clear that we share a similar outlook on how to meet the challenges we face. We’ll get to this more in the discussion, but the highlights included the signing of the Force Posture Agreement that President Obama and PM Abbott announced together in Washington. We also talked about strengthening interoperability, increasing military cooperation, missile defense, and threats to cyberspace.
But our security isn’t just a matter of planes and tanks and ships.
When the President visited Asia in April, he focused on economics, trade, and innovation.
These are the things that make countries grow, that make them stronger, and that bring us closer together. These are the very things that our strong security cooperation guarantees.
Security and prosperity are inextricably linked.
While we have an incredibly strong bilateral trade and investment relationship with Australia – counting indirect investment, it’s worth $1 trillion – we are also working together to ensure regional prosperity.
We are working with Australia and ten other countries across the Pacific to finish negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Although there is still work to be done, momentum is on our side. We look forward to completing the agreement soon. Australia has been a valuable partner in these negotiations.
The TPP is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to regional prosperity. It will bring down barriers to trade and investment, and open new markets. The TPP will be a model for addressing trade issues in the 21st century.
Through this agreement, Australian and American businesses and farmers will have greater access to a trading area that produces 40% of the world’s GDP, creating more and better jobs.
We think of this agreement as a valuable economic step and as crucial element of our strategy in the region.
By developing a transparent system together, we can create a clean pond in which our businesses can compete and thrive. Little fish have the same clout as the big ones – a huge advantage over negotiating a series of bilateral free trade agreements.
Of course, more countries are welcome to join as long as they are willing to meet the TPP’s high standards.
It will give member countries an advantage in today’s markets. And it will offer strong protections for the new products and technologies that will mean success in the markets of tomorrow. That is important in a world where the market changes quickly and demand can be unpredictable.
Innovation is the key to prosperity and economic success.
Investment in science, technology, and research is the most important guarantee we can make for our future.
Australians, like Americans, are natural innovators, builders, creators. Australians have the drive, ambition, and skill to solve any problem.
We have great cooperation in space through the Deep Space Network, the Mars Rover program, and in cleaning up near space so we can protect our satellites.
Our cooperation is so good that sometimes you find out about things before we do. NASA Administrator Bolton told me that he learned Curiosity had landed on Mars when he got a phone call from Australia.
Similarly, in neuroscience, Australians are doing amazing research on the brain all across the country.
While we have extensive people to people exchanges, we should focus on cooperation at the government research level as well.
Now is the time to discuss what else we can do.
Recently, we held the first in a series of “Ambassador’s Innovation Roundtables.” This meeting brought together stakeholders – businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers, academics, government officials, and students – to talk about what’s working well and what isn’t. In the coming months, we’ll hold similar events across Australia.
They will highlight existing innovation partnerships, address shared challenges, and explore new opportunities. All of these events demonstrate just how deep and strong our partnership is. They demonstrate the complex networks that make our friendship so vital and enduring.
The kind of cooperation we have with Australia has been key to ensuring the peace, progress, and prosperity of the region for more than seventy years, and will be essential to peace and prosperity in the 21st century.