Australian Ambassador to the United States, Arthur Sinodinos AO, has today discussed the future of the US-Australia alliance, during a digital conference with the former Foreign Minister of Australia, Julie Bishop.
During the conversation, which was organised by the Australian National University (ANU), Mr Sinodinos said the US has recognised the way Australia is handling the ongoing trade dispute with China and considers Australia a strong ally.
“Americans have really noted the way Australia has stood up and they’ve noted how we’ve been treated in our stoushes (with China),” Mr Sinodinos said.
“There is a recognition that we’re standing up on these issues, so from our point of view here in Washington, we’re getting pretty strong support.”
The Ambassador then went on to say that he hopes the US will rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.
“I think of TPP at the moment as a bit like Hamlet without the Prince. The US has to be part of that process,” Mr Sinodinos explained.
“The Biden administration have made it clear that their initial focus is domestic investment… but we think we can start with bit-sized achievables, for example a digital trade agreement which can be regionalised, but we also want to work towards getting them engaged in the TPP.
“We want high quality standards in the Pacific region around trade and investment and ultimately the Chinese can be a part of that as well if they want, but only if they observe the rules.”
Mr Sinodinos went on to say that although the US and Australia may experience “hiccups” in their relationship around the issue of climate change, it’s the shared values and interests of both countries which ensure they remain strong allies.