Courage, endurance, mateship, sacrifice. These are variously acknowledged as the values of the ANZACs.
Values forged through the loss of life and limb, upon a blood soaked beach and rocky headland in Turkey.
This week we have had the opportunity to reflect on these values, to reflect on the sacrifice, and to reflect on the relationship between these two great nations of the United States of America, and Australia.
On Wednesday, at the moving ANZAC ceremony in Trinity Church, I reflected on these values. Values share between us. Values forged from the bonds of mateship on the battlefield.
2018 marks 100 years of mateship on the battlefield. Side by side, defending a way of life that we hold dear as something that is good and great. Something worth fighting for.
But when the guns fall silent and the roar of conflict subsides, what are the bonds that bind us?
Fundamentally, we are both nations seeking opportunity for our citizens, not empire for the State. We prize liberty for each person to pursue our dreams, to reach our potential, to be great, and yes, also the freedom to fail, pick ourselves up, learn from it, and try, try again.
We both especially hold dear the freedom for our citizens to speak up and freely admit we are imperfect and flawed – two relatively young nations, both works in progress. But we can and do hold ourselves out to the world as examples to aspire to. And we must be doing a lot right. Because we both represent a way of life other people have flocked to join. We’re both nations of immigrants.
It is in fact this aspiration for freedom, shared as it is, that is the bedrock upon which our great countries are built. This unshakeable foundation of commitment to shared values is the reason we have for a century stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, defending aspiration and liberty for themselves and those they love against those who seek to extinguish human freedom.
This is the bond that binds us. And this bond actually goes back even further than 100 years.
In 1842, one of New York’s most famous sons, Herman Melville, sailed into Sydney Harbour on a whaling ship.
Melville must have recognised familiar American qualities in the energy and drive of Sydney’s emancipated convicts and free settlers alike, thriving under the common law, because, in a memorable line, he called Australia “that great America on the other side of the sphere”.
One of the things that’s mattered enormously to Australia from the 1800’s to today is the health of the global economic environment, and whether trade and investment policies favoured expansions in the free flow of goods and capital.
We have a very clear and steadfast position on this.
We stand for economic openness.
We stand for a transparent world trade and investment system, based on rules. It is a crucial element in Australia’s economic prosperity.
We stand for rules that encourage growth, and point the way to sound international cooperation.
Rules that reinforce market principles, with sovereign nations playing their important, clearly demarcated role.
Today, I will seek to outline how 200 years of economic relations between Australia and the United States have culminated in today’s economic partnership – one that is making a real contribution to our region’s peace and prosperity.
As a result, we are well positioned to shape the international rules for sustained growth for our two economies and our region.
Let me explain why I am optimistic, despite the tenor of some contemporary commentary.
During the Australian colonies’ wild early history of famine, gold, whales, and war, U.S. interests prospered while helping to build the Australian economy and nation.
The story starts in 1791, when Massachusetts-born, Nantucket seafarer, Captain Eber Bunker sailed the William and Ann from London to Sydney.
Captain Bunker delivered 181 male convicts and badly needed supplies to the famine-struck three-year old colony of New South Wales.
He would have found he could operate under a familiar common law system.
He stayed in New South Wales, and became known as the father of Australian whaling, which by 1839 provided more than half of the exports from New South Wales, thanks in part to American capital and expertise.
After whaling, the next great boost to Australian fortunes was gold.
The 1848 California gold rush attracted many Australians, causing a population drain.
In response, the NSW Government relaxed its policy of suppressing news of gold finds.
Sure enough, in 1851, well publicised gold finds in Australia reversed the flow of economic migrants.
Many of California’s 49ers joined Australia’s diggers, unearthing the riches that founded towns, funded our great cities, and helped the colonies achieve self-government.
In 1897, the first in a long line of managers arrived at the Sons of Gwalia gold mine in Western Australia from the United States – one Herbert Hoover.
Evidently, Hoover got things off to a good start – the mine is still in operation today. And gold is still our sixth biggest export.
120 years later, the largest investor in the Sons of Gwalia gold mine is still an American company - New York’s Van Eck, which increased its holding in the company now owning the mine to 11 per cent last December.
Hoover went on to become a founding investor in the Zinc Corporation, which became part of the Rio Tinto Group.
In the 1920s, another North-East U.S. connection: the Rockefeller and Guggenheim families were major investors in the development of Mount Isa Mine’s massive base metal deposits in Queensland.
Mt Isa is another project still in operation almost a century later.
After the Second World War, our economic cooperation became more intense and sustained.
Australia was one of the many nations that benefitted from the long post-war boom thanks to both U.S. credit and the economic institutions the United States built to underpin economic growth and cooperation. These include the GATT, the IMF and the World Bank.
For a time, Australia became the largest borrower from the World Bank.
In the 1950s, Australia’s Prime Minister received a note from the Bank’s President, Mr Eugene Black, inscribed “To R. G. Menzies, my largest debtor, and my smallest worry.”
U.S. private investment also continued to build our industries, right up to the present day with recent major investments in LNG by Chevron and ConocoPhillips.
Today, the stock of U.S. investment in Australia stands at over A$860 billion. That is roughly 10 times the stock of investment from China.
Quality U.S. manufactures and consumer goods have also helped to build the modern Australian household and nation.
As a result, Australia has run a trade deficit with the United States every year since the early 1950s. It’s done both our countries a lot of good. And those of our region around us.
US investment helped underwrite Australia’s development as the efficient, ultra-reliable provider of the fuel and minerals needed to sustain the economic and humanitarian miracle of Asia’s historic surge of prosperity.
And in time, the very positive U.S. investment experience in Australia over many decades paved the way for subsequent Japanese and Chinese investment.
Japan, South Korea and China’s stake in the post-war international order has increased apace with our dependable supply of fuel and minerals, regulated according to market principles and sustained by relations of trust.
This resources partnership between Australia and the United States is an underappreciated companion to our security partnership, which has contributed to the long peace many nations have enjoyed since the Second World War.
We will continue to play this role, including through our growing partnership in minerals that are critical for the development of advanced technologies.
Security and deterrence remain important for our region.
As Australia’s 2017, Foreign Policy White Paper puts it, “the web of U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific makes an essential contribution to regional security, and supports the stability and openness of the world economy”.
Over the next few years, Australia will increase our spending on defence to two per cent of GDP. That investment in our defence capability is vital to Australia’s security and sovereignty.
Australia has one of the most open defence markets in the world.
In the last decade, around 70 per cent of the money we spent acquiring defence capability was on equipment from the United States.
Over the next few years, we expect to spend more than US $16.2 billion on U.S. sourced defence capability. Indeed, Australia is spending $15 million every day on the purchase of defence equipment from the U.S. We are your second biggest customer.
This investment in capability will strengthen our defence force and will be good for jobs and growth in both our countries.
Looking ahead, how can we ensure that our regional influence grows and remains constructive amid the great changes of our age?
For one, we will keep deepening our own economic collaboration, to keep our economies strong, and to demonstrate the power of openness and the rule of law.
As evidenced by our slew of new trade agreements in operation or in prospect, countries all over the world are working with Australia to open their economies to benefit from international trade and investment.
The contemporary economic relationship between Australia and the United States shows how this can be done.
Since our bilateral free trade agreement entered into force in 2005, the stock of investment between our two countries has more than doubled to A$1.5 trillion.
US-affiliated firms account for more than 372,000 jobs in Australia.
Each one of these matters.
Likewise, Australian investment in the United States sustains over 100,000 American jobs.
Take, for example, the investment by Bluescope in the U.S. Their subsidiary, Steelscape, employs 3,000 Americans and meets consumer demand for quality building products.
In New York alone, more than 15,000 people are employed by Australian companies.
US exports to Australia are significant too, supporting more than 300,000 American jobs.
During his visit to Australia in April 2017, Vice President Pence described our FTA as a “model for a mutually beneficial trade agreement and a model for the world”.
Economic cooperation between Australia and the United States can be the platform for global success.
Consider the partnership between Australian packaging and logistics firm Visy and internet retailer Amazon.
Visy has pledged 2 billion US dollars in new investment in the United States in the next ten years, expected to generate another 5,000 jobs in the Midwest.
Associated investment in Australia will create another 5,000 jobs in my country.
Visy’s U.S. partnership puts it at the forefront of IT, artificial intelligence, customer service and product innovation – just the recipe for success as Australia transitions to a ‘dining boom’ of agribusiness into Asia.
Australia’s openness to international trade and investment has been critical in our transition from the mining boom.
Our renowned economic resilience and flexibility have seen the economy keep growing despite the drag from slowing mining investment.
In 2017, non-mining business investment increased by more than 12 per cent.
The Australian economy has added over 400,000 new jobs in the last year.
Our Reserve Bank predicts a gradual pick-up in wages ahead, widely distributed across the country.
This is the new Australian economy – still a resources superpower, but with diverse economic strengths.
Today, growth is surging in a range of areas where we have comparative advantages, including services led by education and tourism. We have manufacturers, like Visy, working at the cutting edge of technology.
Our partnership with the United States, and U.S. investment in particular, is an integral part of this achievement.
So, our bilateral relationship is in a good place, and we are hard at work making it even better.
The Australian Government seeks greater links between our business communities, especially small and medium sized enterprises.
On Tuesday, I hosted an agriculture and ag-tech dinner for investors here in New York, and the level of investment interest, spurred by our brace of FTAs with the leading North Asian economies, was palpable.
Our nations have recently started to share lessons in the economics of federation.
Since the 1980s, a spirit of ‘competitive federalism’ – encouraging the individual states to experiment and spur each other on with pro-growth policies – has been one of the many reform agendas that has kept Australia’s economy at the cutting edge.
More recently, we have pioneered collaboration between our national and state governments, incentivising states to fund new infrastructure investment through the sale of mature assets to the private sector.
If Australia’s Ambassador and my good friend, Joe Hockey, hasn’t told you about “asset recycling” yet, don’t worry, he will soon.
Just as Australia and the United States continue to strengthen our complementary bilateral trade and investment relationship, so we are cooperating to shape the international environment.
The market principles that guide our broad trade and investment relationship are the same ones we apply in the World Trade Organization, and promote in the G20 and APEC.
The WTO is the international trade referee.
It provide a constructive way forward for when members see things differently.
The United States has turned to the WTO to dispute China’s intellectual property practices, and China has lodged there its own challenge to U.S. tariffs.
We support moves to improve the WTO, to ensure it gets the job done, and we encourage all members to act consistently within the existing rules.
The WTO can also facilitate new ways to trade.
Last December at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, Australia, the United States and 68 other WTO members agreed to work toward future negotiations on e-commerce.
This initiative is an opportunity to create ambitious, commercially meaningful international rules that facilitate trade and keep pace with technological change.
In February this year, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and I agreed that we would intensify our cooperation to support the growth of digital trade between our countries; ensure an open, free and secure Internet; and advocate the liberalisation and facilitation of global digital trade.
Projecting our principles globally is important.
But Australia and the United States agree that in our own region there is a particular need to drive home our commitment to economic openness and market principles, promote growth and encourage cooperation between countries.
In recent months, both governments have made this focus quite explicit, in Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper, and the U.S. National Security Strategy.
This being so, a U.S. economic strategy for the region will be a crucial complement to the United States’ extensive security engagement.
Australia is a ready and willing economic and strategic partner for the United States, deeply engaged from Mumbai to Manhattan and beyond.
One of the key pieces of economic architecture in our region is the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The decision by Australia and Japan to pursue a TPP-11 after the withdrawal of the United States — and that of the other members to pursue it with us — was a clear signal of commitment to writing the rules for reform.
In time, it is my aspiration the region will be even further boosted through the successful negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, known as RCEP.
The TPP-11 and RCEP create the potential for extraordinary economic opportunity built on low or no tariff trade and unfettered opportunities for nation building from the free flow of investment, driving jobs and growth.
Indeed, this opportunity in the Asia-Pacific resonates so loudly that even in the Atlantic they hear the call. In recent days, Prime Minister Turnbull has spoken of the strong interest shown by the UK in joining the TPP-11.
Australia would warmly welcome a US return to the TPP.
Moreover, Australia and the United States are already moving to improve the region’s energy and infrastructure options.
In February, our leaders agreed to develop the Australia-U.S. Strategic Partnership on Energy in the Indo-Pacific to promote open and competitive regional markets for energy and infrastructure.
This Partnership will harness our very considerable strengths in resources, capital markets and financial services.
Infrastructure and energy will be a powerful focus for our work to cement international norms such as market-based competition and transparency.
The Partnership will also reinforce our support for the sovereignty of our other international partners.
It will play out in coming months and years.
Ladies and gentlemen, if I can take us back to the mid-nineteenth century and Herman Melville.
Then, sailing from Nantucket to Sydney took several months.
Today, we can fly direct from Sydney to Houston on United Airlines, or Sydney to Dallas on Qantas.
But already in 1851, even at that distance, Melville recognised that Australia and the United States were commercial kin.
Today we are closer than even he could have imagined.
That’s a good thing for our prosperity and our security, and it’s good for our region.
Countries around the world admire the economic rules we have in common, and the more they see of our collaboration – its fruits in trust, jobs, expertise and innovation – the more they will like it.
It is on this basis that we should redouble our international efforts together, to point the way to a prosperous Indo-Pacific for us all.
- Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555