SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good afternoon, everyone. Prime Minister Albanese, thank you for your leadership in the Indo-Pacific and indeed around the world. Grateful to you and grateful to Ambassador Rudd, my good friend, Ambassador Kennedy here with us today, Assistant Secretary Eliot Kang, for their exceptional work to expand the partnership between the United States and Australia.
For more than six decades, our nations and our people have worked together to explore space. In May, the prime minister and President Biden announced that our countries had negotiated a Technology Safeguards Agreement for our commercial space industries, and today we’re about to sign that agreement.
Once it enters into force, American companies will be able to complete space launches from Australia while keeping their technology secure and adhering to our international nonproliferation commitments. In Australia, American companies will have access to more high-quality launch sites so that they can increase the frequency of their operations. They’ll be closer to the equator, where the Earth spins the fastest, so their rockets get an extra boost and use less fuel. And of course, Americans will gain some brilliant Australian colleagues.
By opening new doors for the private sector, we’ll grow investment between our countries and help create good-paying jobs in both countries. And we’ll also help provide more opportunities for American and Australian firms to continue innovating, and innovating together. Whether they’re using satellites to make GPS navigation more accurate or developing spacecrafts to study the universe, these companies will help shape the future for our people, and for our planet, for decades to come.
And now, it’s a pleasure to turn it over to Ambassador Rudd, Assistant Secretary Kang to sign the agreement. Gentlemen, over to you.
(The agreement was signed.)
Now it’s official. Thank you. (Applause.) Thanks to everyone who worked on it. (Applause.)