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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Relations With Australia


Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
January 31, 2014

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More information about Australia is available on the Australia Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-AUSTRALIA RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Australia in 1940, following the United Kingdom's recognition of Australia's domestic and external autonomy within the British Empire and the Government of Australia's formal adoption of the codification. U.S. relations with Australia are strong and close. The two share a traditional friendship, similarities in culture and historical background, democratic values, common interests, and similar views on most major international questions. Ties range from commercial, cultural, and environmental contacts to political and defense cooperation. Australian forces have fought beside the United States and other Allies in every significant conflict since World War I.

The United States and Australia work together closely in Afghanistan and on counter-terrorism issues world-wide. They attach high priority to controlling and eventually eliminating chemical weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, and anti-personnel landmines .; and they cooperate on global environmental issues such as slowing climate change and preserving coral reefs. The ANZUS Treaty with the United States enjoys broad bipartisan support in Australia as its pre-eminent formal security treaty alliance. Australia participates in annual, bilateral AUSMIN consultations with the United States and in a trilateral security dialogue with the United States and Japan.

A number of U.S. institutions conduct cooperative scientific activities in Australia because of its geographical position, large land mass, and advanced technology. The two countries have signed tax and defense trade cooperation treaties, as well as agreements on science and technology, emergency management cooperation, and social security. They also have concluded a mutual legal assistance treaty, enhancing bilateral cooperation on legal and counternarcotics issues.

U.S. Assistance to Australia

The United States provides no development assistance to Australia.

Bilateral Economic Relations

U.S. exports to Australia include machinery, vehicles, optic and medical instruments, aircraft, and agricultural products. U.S. imports from Australia include precious stones/metals, agricultural products, and optic and medical instruments. The United States is the largest foreign investor in Australia.

The bilateral Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) liberalized an already vibrant trade and investment relationship. The AUSFTA created ongoing working groups and committees to explore further bilateral trade reform. The two countries share a commitment to liberalizing global trade. They work together closely in the World Trade Organization, and both are active members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. They also participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations that seek to develop a regional trade agreement.

Australia's Membership in International Organizations

Australia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, G-20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Trade Organization. Australia also is a Partner for Cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Australia is John Berry; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Australia maintains an embassy in the United States at 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-797-3000).

More information about Australia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Australia Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Australia Page
U.S. Embassy: Australia
History of U.S. Relations With Australia
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information



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