Scott Morrison calls for “upgrade” to partnership
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has insisted that Australia and the United States must significantly step up their economic and military partnership as the two countries move forward.
Speaking at the Australian-American leadership dialogue on Wednesday, Morrison said the United States had “no stronger partner” than Australia in preserving the liberal world order amid the growing influence of China.
“In Australia, the United States does not have a stronger partner today to uphold the values and its institutional pillars of what was created by a remarkable generation of American leaders,” Mr. Morrison said.
The Prime Minister’s comments come amid increasingly strained relations with the other major world power, China, which recently imposed tariffs on several key Australian industries.
“Unlike the Cold War, geostrategic competition in the decades to come will be engaged in the economic realm,” Morrison said at the leadership dialogue meeting.
“Our recent experience with economic coercion underscores this. “
Mr Morrison underlined the strength and importance of the Australia-US alliance, saying Australia was “deeply committed” to the partnership as “the foundation of our security and prosperity”.
Moving forward, the Prime Minister insisted that Australia and the United States must strengthen and increase their economic and military partnership.
Morrison urged the United States to “improve” its trade partnership with Australia, telling Biden to consider regular strategic economic dialogues between the two countries and work alongside Australia “to do so. facing the reform of the World Trade Organization “.
The Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is one of the strongest trading partnerships in the world, with 96% of all Australian exports to the United States duty free.
However, the United States currently accounts for only 5.3% of Australian exports. Meanwhile, China accounts for around 30.6%.
Mr. Morrison also pleaded with the United States to continue to build on the recent increase in joint US-Australian military activity.
“Our defense cooperation is being strengthened and accelerated, as is the reconstruction of Australia’s defense,” he said.
“We are undertaking the largest regeneration of our navy since World War II. “
The Prime Minister applauded the recent Talisman Saber military exercise, in which nearly 14,000 personnel from the United States and Australia as well as contingents from Japan and Korea, New Zealand, Canada and UK trained together across Queensland.
And Mr. Morrison did not hesitate to reveal the real strategic objective of the military exercise.
“There were a few spectators not too far away watching,” the prime minister said.
“We are investing our wealth and our treasure to make Australia stronger so that we can be prepared to defend our nation and a rules-based order in our region – a world that promotes freedom and to be able to do so alongside those who share our values and beliefs: most importantly, the United States.