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World > Australia > Australia > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Australia - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-AUSTRALIAN RELATIONS
The World War II experience, similarities in culture and historical background, and shared democratic values have made U.S. relations with Australia exceptionally strong and close. Ties linking the two nations cover the entire spectrum of international relations--from commercial, cultural, and environmental contacts to political and defense cooperation. Two-way trade reached almost $25 billion in 2005-2006. More than 456,000 Americans visited Australia in 2006.

Traditional friendship is reinforced by the wide range of common interests and similar views on most major international questions. For example, both countries sent military forces to the Persian Gulf in support of UN Security Council resolutions relating to Iraqs occupation of Kuwait; both attach high priority to controlling and eventually eliminating chemical weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, and anti-personnel landmines; and both work closely on global environmental issues such as slowing climate change and preserving coral reefs. The Australian Government and opposition share the view that Australias security depends on firm ties with the United States, and the ANZUS Treaty enjoys broad bipartisan support. Recent Presidential visits to Australia (in 1991, 1996 and 2003), a Vice Presidential visit in February 2007, and Australian Prime Ministerial visits to the United States (in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006) have underscored the strength and closeness of the alliance.

The bilateral Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) entered into force on January 1, 2005. This comprehensive agreement, only the second FTA the U.S. had negotiated with a developed nation, substantially liberalizes an already vibrant trade and investment relationship. The AUSFTA also creates a range of ongoing working groups and committees designed to explore further trade reform in the bilateral context.

Both countries share a commitment to liberalizing global trade. They work together very closely in the World Trade Organization (WTO), and both are active members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

A number of U.S. institutions conduct scientific activities in Australia because of its geographical position, large land mass, advanced technology, and, above all, the ready cooperation of its government and scientists. In 2005, a bilateral science and technology agreement was renewed. Under another agreement dating back to 1960 and since renewed, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) maintains in Australia one of its largest and most important program outside the United States, including a number of tracking facilities vital to the U.S. space program. Indicative of the broad-ranging U.S.-Australian cooperation on other global issues, a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) was concluded in 1997, enhancing already close bilateral cooperation on legal and counter-narcotics issues. In 2001, the U.S. and Australia signed a new tax treaty and a bilateral social security agreement. The U.S. Studies Centre was launched in 2006 at the University of Sydney with Commonwealth funding of Au$25 million. In April 2007, Australia and the U.S. agreed to each resettle up to 200 refugees processed in the other country each year as a means of deterring unauthorized arrivals and people smugglers.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Robert D. McCallum, Jr.
Deputy Chief of Mission--Daniel A. Clune
Consular Affairs Coordinator--Suzanne Lawrence (resident in Sydney)
Economic Counselor--Edgard Kagan (arrival August 2007)
Political Counselor--James F. Cole
Management Counselor--Grace Stettenbauer
Public Affairs Counselor--Scott Weinhold
Defense and Air Attaché--Col Andrew Britschgi, USAF
Agricultural Counselor--Kathleen Wainio
Senior Commercial Officer--Keith Kirkham, acting (resident in Sydney)

The U.S. Embassy in Australia is located at Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600 (tel. 2-6214-5600; fax 6214-5970). Consulates General are in Sydney (tel. 2-9373-9200; fax 2-9373-9125); Melbourne (tel. 3-9526-5900; fax 3-9510-4646; and Perth (tel. 9-202-1224; fax. 9-231-9444).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Australian Dollar Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Australian Dollar Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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