Australia–United States relations

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Australian–American relations
Map indicating locations of Australia and United States

Australia

United States

Australia–United States relations refers to international relations between the Commonwealth of Australia and the United States of America. Australia has also traditionally been aligned with the Commonwealth of Nations; however, Australia has continually strengthened its relationship with the United States since 1942, as Britain's influence in Asia declined. At the governmental level, Australia–United States relations are formalised by the ANZUS treaty and the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement.[citation needed] The United States is the only country to have served alongside Australia in every major conflict since World War II.[citation needed]

Both countries had native peoples who were dispossessed of their land. Both have been part of the Western alliance of nations in various wars. There are numerous other similarities.

The penal colonies of Australia were actually a redirect from the Thirteen Colonies, for indentured and penal transportation for debtors was officially first begun in the Province of Georgia. Britain could no longer send convicts to British America in a rebellious climate, so the best choice was in newly discovered land by James Cook in 1770. This resulted in the founding of New South Wales in 1788.

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 55% of Australians approve of U.S. leadership, with 21% disapproving and 24% uncertain.[1]

Statute of Westminster[edit]

"Australians welcome Americans", postcard 1908

The political and economic changes wrought by the Great Depression and Second World War, and the adoption of the Statute of Westminster 1931, necessitated the establishment and expansion of Australian representation overseas, independent of the British Foreign Office. Australia began to establish its first overseas missions (outside of London) in 1940, beginning with Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Embassy opened in Canberra in 1943, constructed in a Georgian architectural style reminiscent of American Colonial Georgian architecture.

Military[edit]

Australian frigate Newcastle alongside U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz in the Persian Gulf in September 2005

In 1908, Prime Minister Alfred Deakin invited the Great White Fleet to visit Australia during its circumnavigation of the world. The fleet stopped in Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Deakin, a strong advocate for an independent Australian Navy, used the visit to raise the public's enthusiasm about a new navy.

The visit was significant in that it marked the first occasion that a non-Royal Navy fleet had visited Australian waters. Many saw the visit of the Great White Fleet as a major turning point in the creation of the Royal Australian Navy. Shortly after the visit, Australia ordered its first modern warships, a purchase that angered the British Admiralty.[2]

On April 18, 1942, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin put U.S. General Douglas MacArthur in direct command of the Australian military, which comprised the majority of MacArthur's forces at the time.[3] MacArthur's headquarters were located in Brisbane until 1944 and Australian forces remained under MacArthur's overall command until the end of World War II.

ANZUS[edit]

Main article: ANZUS

After the war, the American presence in the southeast Pacific increased immensely, most notably in Japan and the Philippines. In view of the cooperation between the Allies during the war, the decreasing reliance of Australia and New Zealand on the United Kingdom, and America's desire to cement this post-war order in the Pacific, the ANZUS Treaty was signed by Australia, New Zealand and the United States in 1951.[4] This full three-way military alliance replaced the ANZAC Pact that had been in place between Australia and New Zealand since 1944.

Australia, along with New Zealand, has been involved in most major American military endeavors since World War II including the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War and the Iraq War—all without invocation of ANZUS. The alliance has only been invoked once, for the invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks on The World Trade Center and The Pentagon.

War on Terror[edit]

Following the September 11 attacks, in which eleven Australian citizens were also killed, there was an enormous outpouring of sympathy from Australia for the United States. Prime Minister John Howard became one of President George W. Bush's strongest international supporters, and supported the United States in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In 2004 the Bush Administration "fast tracked" a free trade agreement with Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald called the deal a "reward" for Australia's contribution of troops to the Iraq invasion.[5][6]

However, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd indicated that the 550 Australian combat troops in Iraq would be removed by mid-2008. Despite this, there have been suggestions from the Australian government that might lead to an increase in numbers of Australian troops in Afghanistan to roughly 1,000.[7]

In 2011, during US President Obama's trip to Australia, it was announced that United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force units will be rotated through Australian Defence Force bases in northern Australia to conduct training. This deployment was criticised by the an editorial in the Chinese state-run newspaper People's Daily and Indonesia's foreign minister,[8] but welcomed[8][9] by Australia's Prime Minister. A poll by the independent Lowy Institute think tank showed that a majority (55%) of Australians approving of the marine deployment[10] and 59% supporting the overall military alliance between the two countries.[11]

In 2013, the USAF announced rotational deployments of fighter and tanker aircraft through Australia.[12]

Political[edit]

Since 1985, there have been annual ministerial consultations between the two countries, known as AUSMIN. The venue of the meeting alternates between the two countries. It is attended by senior government ministers such as the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australian Minister for Defence, US Secretary of Defense and US Secretary of State.[13]

Australian tours by U.S. Presidents[edit]

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, talks with United States President Barack Obama in Washington DC during 2009.

The first Australian visit by a serving United States President[14] was that of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 to seek support for Australia's ongoing involvement in the Vietnam war. Australia had previously sent advisers and combat troops to Vietnam. In 1992, George H. W. Bush was the first of four US Presidents to address a joint meeting of the Australian Parliament.

Dates President Cities visited Reason
20–23 October 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville State visit; met with Governor-General Lord Casey and Prime Minister Harold Holt. First US president to visit Australia.[15]
21–22 December 1967 Lyndon B. Johnson Melbourne Attended memorial service for Prime Minister Harold Holt and conferred with other attending heads of state.
31 December 1991 – 3 January 1992 George H. W. Bush Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne Met with Prime Minister Paul Keating and senior Australian officials; addressed a joint meeting of the Australian Parliament.
19–23 November 1996 Bill Clinton Sydney, Canberra, Port Douglas State visit. Addressed joint meeting of Parliament and visited the Great Barrier Reef.
22 October 2003 George W. Bush Canberra Met with Prime Minister John Howard and addressed Parliament.
2–5 September 2007 George W. Bush Sydney Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference.
16–17 November 2011 Barack Obama Canberra, Darwin Met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and addressed Parliament.

United States tours by Australian Prime Ministers[edit]

Dates Prime Minister Cities/Countries visited Reason
April and May 1944[16] John Curtin San Francisco, Washington, Warm Springs, New York City Meeting with President Roosevelt and travel to and from the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference in London
9 May 1946[17] Ben Chifley Washington Met with President Truman for 15 minutes
28 July 1950[18] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Truman for half the day
19 May 1952[18] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Truman
20 December 1952[18] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Truman for informal dinner
2 October 1960[19] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold MacMillan of the United Kingdom
24 February 1961[20] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President John F. Kennedy and discussed SEATO, ANZUS and Laos
20 June 1962[20] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Kennedy and discussed West New Guinea, Vietnam, ANZUS and the European Union
8 July 1963 [21] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Kennedy
24 June 1964[22] Robert Menzies Met with President Lyndon B. Johnson
7 June 1965[23] Robert Menzies Met with President Johnson
June 1966[24] Harold Holt Met with President Johnson and endorsed the USA's Vietnam policy. His speech included the words "All the way with LBJ"
27 to 30 May 1968 [25] John Gorton Washington and LBJ ranch Met with President Johnson and discussed Vietnam
6 May 1969 [26] John Gorton Washington Met with President Richard Nixon and discussed Vietnam
2 November 1971 [27] William McMahon Washington Met with President Nixon and discussed bilateral issues and commitment to the ANZUS treaty
NA[28] Gough Whitlam No visit. Nixon had not extended an invitation due to irritation over a letter from Whitlam criticising bombing in North Vietnam. Whitlam was prepared to visit in June 1973 without an official invitation ("Official invitations are not necessary in these circumstances")[29]
27 July 1977[30] Malcolm Fraser Met with President Jimmy Carter
30 June 1981[31] Malcolm Fraser Met with President Ronald Reagan
17 April 1986[32][33] Bob Hawke US/Australian relations Met with President Reagan. US offered a $5M gift for Australia's bicentennial celebrations for the proposed Australian Maritime Museum[34]
22–24 June 1988[33] Bob Hawke Washington, D.C. Met with President Reagan and other government officials
14 September 1993[35] Paul Keating Seattle,Washington APEC meeting - met with President Bill Clinton
7–15 July 2000[36] John Howard Japan and USA
4–8 September 2000[37][38] John Howard Millennium Summit and Commonwealth High Level Review Group
8–14 June 2001[39] John Howard
8–14 September 2001[39] John Howard State Visit. Address a joint sitting of the US Congress on 12 September. Was the first world leader to support the USA in its response to the 9/11 attacks
28 January-8 February 2002[39] John Howard
8–16 February 2003[40] John Howard
1–10 May 2005[41] John Howard New York City, Washington, D.C. State visit; Addressed the 60th anniversary session of the United Nations in New York City
8–14 May 2006[42] John Howard
March/April 2008[43] Kevin Rudd Washington Part of 17-day world tour to China, the US, the UK and Europe. Met with President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke[44] Also met with several presidential candidates.[45]
March 2011 Julia Gillard Washington Met with President Barack Obama and addressed joint sitting of Congress
November 2011 Julia Gillard Honolulu, Hawaii APEC meeting - met with President Obama.
24–28 September 2012[46] Julia Gillard New York City Addressed the 67th session of the United Nations in New York City
June 2014 Tony Abbott Washington DC Met with President Barack Obama

Kyoto Protocol[edit]

Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, ratified the Kyoto Protocol on December 3, 2007, leaving the United States and Canada as the last major industrial nations not to ratify the agreement.[7] Australia's previous government, led by Liberal John Howard, refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol citing, along with the United States, that it would "damage their economies".[47]

Legal Matters[edit]

US President Barack Obama with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard toast during the Parliamentary Dinner at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia.

Some aspects of Australian legal traditions are modeled after its American counterparts.[48]

Censorship[edit]

The Obama administration has questioned the Gillard Government's plan to introduce an internet censorship scheme, claiming it opposes the United States foreign policy of encouraging an open internet to spread economic growth and global security. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says that internet censorship will stop the spread of child pornography from a blacklist of websites, however it was reported that the censorship scheme will prevent the flow of information and would probably be ineffective in combating the spread of child pornography and criminal activities.[49] The United States State Department spokesperson said "The U.S. and Australia are close partners on issues related to cyber matters generally, including national security and economic issues, we do not discuss the details of specific diplomatic exchanges, but can say that in the context of that ongoing relationship, we have raised our concerns on this matter with Australian officials." A spokesperson for Senator Conroy declined to comment, however saying only that the Australian and U.S. governments "liaise regularly on a broad range of issues and it would be inappropriate to discuss the details of these consultations".[50]

Conflict[edit]

The US-Australian relationship has not been without conflict. In 1942, US soldiers fought Australians in the Battle of Brisbane. Australia has sold Hubei catamarans to the PRC, which is typically considered a geopolitical rival to the US.

Trade[edit]

Monthly value of Australian merchandise exports to the United States (A$ millions) since 1988
Monthly value of US merchandise exports to Australia (A$ millions) since 1988

Trade between the United States and Australia is strong, as evidenced by the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement. The United States is Australia’s fourth largest export market and its second largest source of imports.[51] The United States is also the largest investor in Australia while Australia is the fifth largest investor in the US.

Australia and the United States also provide significant competition for each other in several third-party exports such as wheat, uranium and wool and, more recently, in the information technology sector. Although the US has a sizable sheep population, American imports of lamb meat from Australia and New Zealand remain stronger than the domestic output.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Inline[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Global Leadership Project Report - 2012 Gallup
  2. ^ Macdougall, A (1991). Australians at War: A Pictorial History. Noble Park, Victoria: The Five Mile Press. p. 360. ISBN 1-86503-865-2. 
  3. ^ Naval Historical Society of Australia. "On This Day - 1942". Naval Historical Society of Australia. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Full text of the ANZUS Treaty
  5. ^ President Bush Signs U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement
  6. ^ "US House approves free trade pact". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 July 2004. 
  7. ^ a b Reynolds, Paul (2007-11-26). "Australia shifts course, away from US". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  8. ^ a b Packham, Ben (2011-11-17). "China reproaches Australia over strengthened US defence ties". The Australian. 
  9. ^ "Obama visit: Australia agrees US Marine deployment plan". BBC. 2011-11-16. 
  10. ^ "2011 Lowy Institute Poll". Lowy Institute. 
  11. ^ "Australians happy hosting U.S. troops". Manila Bulletin. 
  12. ^ "AF to Add Fighter, Bomber Rotations to Australia."
  13. ^ "2005 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations Joint Communique". Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 2006-12-10. 
  14. ^ "Australia". US Department of State. Archived from the original on 9 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  15. ^ "Harold Holt - Australia's PMs - Australia's Prime Ministers". Primeministers.naa.gov.au. Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  16. ^ "John Curtin: In office". Australia's Prime Ministers. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Daily Presidential Appointments". Truman Library. 1946-05-09. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  18. ^ a b c "Daily Presidential Appointments". Truman Library. 1950-07-28. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  19. ^ "Dwight D. Eisenhower: Joint Statement following Meeting With Prime Minister Macmillan and Prime Minister Menzies". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1960-10-02. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  20. ^ a b "John F. Kennedy: Joint Statement following Discussions With Prime Minister Menzies of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1962-06-20. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  21. ^ "John F. Kennedy: Toasts of the President and Prime Minister Menzies of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1963-07-08. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  22. ^ "Lyndon B. Johnson: Toasts of the President and Prime Minister Menzies of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1964-06-24. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  23. ^ "Lyndon B. Johnson: The President's Toast at a Luncheon in Honor of Sir Robert Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1965-06-07. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  24. ^ "Prime Ministers of Australia: Harold Holt". National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  25. ^ "Lyndon B. Johnson: Toasts of the President and Prime Minister Gorton of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1968-05-27. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  26. ^ "Richard Nixon: Toasts of the President and Prime Minister John G. Gorton of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1969-05-06. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  27. ^ "Richard Nixon: Remarks Following a Meeting With Prime Minister William McMahon of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1971-11-02. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  28. ^ "Timeline - Australia's Prime Ministers". Primeministers.naa.gov.au. Archived from the original on 11 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  29. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5S8gAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4ygEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5112,3196214&dq=gough+whitlam+us+visit+prime+minister&hl=en
  30. ^ http://research.archives.gov/description/1252990
  31. ^ http://research.archives.gov/description/198516&Gsm
  32. ^ "NSDD – National Security Decision Directives – Reagan Administration". Federation of American Scientists. Archived from the original on 11 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  33. ^ a b "Visit of Australian Prime Minister – Robert J.L. Hawke and Ronald Reagan address – transcript". US Department of State Bulletin. September 1988. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  34. ^ "U.S./Australian Relations (NSC-NSDD-229)". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  35. ^ "William J. Clinton: The President's News Conference With Prime Minister Paul Keating of Australia". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1993-09-14. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  36. ^ "Annual Report 1999-2000". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2000. Archived from the original on 9 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  37. ^ "Annual Report 2001-01". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2001. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  38. ^ "Media release: Visit to New York". Prime Minister of Australia. 18 August 2000. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  39. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2001-02". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2002. Archived from the original on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  40. ^ "Annual Report 2002-03". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2003. Archived from the original on 11 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  41. ^ "Annual Report 2005-06". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  42. ^ "President Bush Welcomes Prime Minister John Howard of Australia to the White House". www.whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  43. ^ Mark Kenny (March 27, 2008). "American alliance still strong ahead of Kevin Rudd's world tour". Herald Sun. 
  44. ^ "Kevin Rudd goes global". SMH. March 28, 2008. 
  45. ^ "Rudd to meet White House hopefuls". ABC. March 31, 2008. 
  46. ^ "Julia Gillard attends UN opening in New York as Security Council vote looms". News.com.au. September 26, 2012. 
  47. ^ Black, Richard (2005-07-27). "New climate plan 'to rival Kyoto'". BBC. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  48. ^ Coper, Michael. "Three good things and three not-so-good things about the australian legal system" (PDF). Learning from Each Other: Enriching the Law School Curriculum in an Interrelated World. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  49. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/29/2858931.htm%7CUS concern over Australian internet filter
  50. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/stephen-conroy-and-us-at-odds-on-net-filter/story-e6frg996-1225846614780%7CStephen Conroy and US at odds on net filter
  51. ^ http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/aust.pdf

General[edit]

External links[edit]