Prime Minister demands “upgrade” to Australian-US trade relations


Prime Minister Scott Morrison is calling for an upgrade to an already comprehensive free trade relationship between Australia and the United States amid intensifying geopolitical competition with Beijing.

In a speech on the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue on August 11, the Prime Minister spoke of Australia’s military buildup, emphasizing that it would play a role rather than seeking a “free ride” with the United States.

“As I said many times, including the White House lawn, Australia may look to the United States, but never leave it to the United States,” Morrison said.

“We are investing wealth and treasure to make Australia stronger, so we are ready to uphold our country and rule-based order, a world of freedom, and our values. I believe we can do so with people who share it. Most importantly, the United States, “he added.

The Prime Minister said the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), one of the most comprehensive agreements in the world, called for an “upgrade” of the agreement.

“Unlike the Cold War, strategic competition in the coming decades will take place in the realm of the economy. Our recent experience with economic coercion emphasizes that,” he said.

“That’s why I believe our bilateral strategic cooperation needs to extend to economic issues. Consider regular strategic economic dialogues between the top major economic and trade authorities. We need to, “he added. “Now, more than ever, we need to work more closely with the common economic challenges we face.”

Australia-China diplomatic relations have been successful over the past year as Beijing has launched an economic coercion campaign targeting major Australian exports to Australia.

The campaign began after Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne requested an independent investigation into the origin of COVID-19.

In his speech, Morrison reiterated that action on climate change will be achieved by technological advances, especially in developing countries.

“Developing countries account for two-thirds of the world’s emissions and are increasing. China’s emissions exceed the combined OECD emissions. Resolving climate change in developing countries. Without it, our world would fail, “he said.

“Now, as Special Envoy (John) Kerry claimed within a few days of getting a job, he said the United States could reduce emissions to zero, if not weeks, but China. But otherwise we wouldn’t achieve anything and he died. “

Morrison made a speech when Australian Foreign Minister and Defense Minister were planning visits to the United States, India and Indonesia.

They will be heading to Washington, DC next month for an annual meeting between US Secretary of Defense Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Daniel Y. Ten