2018 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne met at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California July 23-24, 2018. The Secretaries and Ministers noted a number of initiatives through which the people of the United States and Australia, close friends and partners for more than a century, will work together to build a secure, prosperous future. Over the next year, the United States and Australia intend to:
- Consult closely on our visions for the Indo-Pacific and an international rules‑based order through regular bilateral meetings of U.S. and Australian diplomatic and defense officials.
- Maintain pressure on North Korea until it abandons its illegal WMD and ballistic missile programs.
- Continue to support actively the ASEAN-centered regional architecture to foster a stable, prosperous and resilient Indo-Pacific.
- Coordinate efforts to counter foreign interference in their respective countries.
- Step up joint engagement in the Pacific to advance the stability, security, and prosperity of all states in the region, including strengthening regional information sharing and maritime security and domain awareness; supporting capacity building through the Australian Pacific Security College with U.S. technical contributions and connection to the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu; promoting principles-based, sustainable infrastructure investments; and strengthening support for humanitarian and disaster responses.
- Strengthen donor and diplomatic efforts across the Lower Mekong sub-region including through the Lower Mekong Initiative and the Friends of the Lower Mekong.
- Continue cooperation and coordination for capacity building in maritime security and domain awareness with Indo-Pacific countries.
- Advance a shared infrastructure agenda, including by holding a formal dialogue on infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific.
- Begin a dialogue on access to critical minerals to strengthen U.S.-Australian cooperation on the exploration, extraction, processing and research, and development of rare earths and high performance metals.
- Advance implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda and Australia’s Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region through policy coordination, sharing technical expertise and best practices, and developing a joint approach for health security projects in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
- Plan for a Civil Space Dialogue to take place before the end of 2018 to increase cooperation on civilian space applications and promote commercial space activities.
- Hold an Energy Security Dialogue within the framework of the U.S-Australia Strategic Partnership on Energy to enhance cooperation and define shared regional and global energy security goals, including open and competitive energy markets and universal access to affordable and reliable energy.
- Fully implement the Force Posture Initiatives and expand training engagement with regional military partners through the Force Posture Initiatives between the U.S. and Australian military forces in Australia; coordinate efforts to raise the number of U.S. Marines in Marine Rotation Force Darwin to its full complement of 2,500 as soon as practicable.
- Integrate U.S. military force elements into Australia’s annual Indo-Pacific Endeavour exercise.
- Develop and implement a plan to counter the growth of advanced missile threats to our mutual security interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Strengthen defense collaboration on hypersonics through technology and concept development and the testing and validation of high-speed flight technologies.
- Implement a cyber MOU signed by Secretary Mattis and Minister Payne to conduct research, development, testing, and evaluation of cyberspace capabilities.
- Continue to work closely on counter-terrorism, including through the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue and other fora.