THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
February 23, 2018
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S MEETING WITH AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER MALCOLM TURNBULL STRENGTHENS THE UNITED STATES-AUSTRALIA ALLIANCE AND CLOSE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP
“For a century now, the people of the United States and Australia have inspired the world with their determination, bravery, and generosity. I know that our close friendship and enduring alliance will grow even stronger in the century to come.”–President Donald J. Trump
ADVANCE AMERICA’S PROSPERITY: President Trump expanded American economic ties with Australia, promoting investment and expanding job opportunities for American workers.
· The President thanked Prime Minister Turnbull for leading a delegation of Australia’s premiers, chief ministers, and over 40 CEOs from major United States and Australian firms to the National Governors Association Winter Meetings in Washington, DC. The United States is open for business and welcomes quality, job-creating investment from Australian firms.
· The two leaders discussed the President’s plan for financing and building America’s infrastructure. The Prime Minister noted that Australia’s federal and state governments, and its private companies and pension funds, are interested in working with the United States to support building America’s next generation of infrastructure.
· The United States and Australia plan to encourage best practices, spur investment, and develop policies to support high quality infrastructure in the United States, Australia, and third countries, in particular in the Indo-Pacific region.
· The cooperation of strategic partners can open new worlds of technological development using materials that are lighter, more versatile, or more conductive to open up new manufacturing opportunities, in defense and aerospace, information technology, telecommunications, energy and medicine. The United States and Australia agreed to work together on strategic minerals exploration, extraction, processing and research, and development of rare earths and high performance metals to sustain the jobs of today and develop the jobs of tomorrow.
PROMOTE A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC REGION: President Trump reaffirmed the strength of the alliance between the United States and Australia and the close alignment of our interests and values in the Indo-Pacific region and throughout the world.
· President Trump and Prime Minister Turnbull directed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and Defense Minister Marise Payne to discuss further cooperation between the United States and Australia at the next Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations, known as “AUSMIN,” to be held later this year in Washington, DC.
· The President thanked Prime Minster Turnbull for Australia’s consistent leadership in confronting the threat posed by North Korea. The leaders renewed their commitment to work together to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.
· The leaders expressed serious concerns about the situation in the South China Sea and called upon parties to exercise restraint and resolve disputes peacefully based on international law. The President thanked the Prime Minister for Australia’s continued support for the United States’ program of Freedom of Navigation Operations.
· The President and Prime Minister discussed ways to deepen trilateral cooperation with Japan and affirmed the importance of expanding cooperation between Australia, the United States, Japan, and India.
· The President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their nations’ commitments to stronger partnerships with Pacific Island countries for a more secure, stable, and economically resilient region.
· The Overseas Private Investment Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia to advance United States-Australia support for high-quality infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific region and encourage reforms to improve regulations, transparency, and local capital markets.
· The United States and Australia intend to launch the United States-Australia Strategic Partnership on Energy in the Indo-Pacific region to promote energy infrastructure, low emissions technologies, and global gas markets.
· The two leaders affirmed their support for global health security to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. The President commended Australia’s A$300 million ($236 million USD) investment to establish the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security to prevent public health emergencies.
· The United States and Australia agreed to intensify cooperation to support the growth of digital trade between our countries, ensure an open, free and secure Internet, and advocate the liberalization and facilitation of global digital trade.
GLOBAL SECURITY COOPERATION: President Trump reaffirmed the strong security cooperation between the United States and Australia.
· The President thanked Prime Minister Turnbull for Australia’s strong support of the United States defense market, and noted that Australia has been consistently in the global top ten for United States sourced-defense acquisitions such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
· The President thanked Prime Minister Turnbull for Australia’s leadership on counterterrorism issues in Southeast Asia and its substantial contributions to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. They discussed further cooperation as terrorist fighters depart Iraq and Syria and return to their home countries.
· The two leaders shared concerns about terrorists’ use of cyberspace and the evolving threat of terrorism to both nations and the global community.
· The President and Prime Minister discussed Afghanistan and on-going efforts to assist its people in their quest for peace and security and to deny terrorists access to safe havens there. The President gratefully acknowledged Australia’s long history of working side by side with the United States in Afghanistan since 2002.
· As an enduring symbol of our alliance and our history of shared effort and sacrifice to make a better, safer world, the President announced that the U.S. Navy would name a future Littoral Combat Ship the USS CANBERRA.