Australia Day

Press Statement
Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
Acting Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 26, 2017

On behalf of President Trump and the American people, it is my honor to congratulate the people of Australia as you celebrate this Australia Day, 229 years after the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Harbor.

It has been over 75 years since your commonwealth and the United States established diplomatic relations, but connections between America and Australia reach back to that fleet. Today, travel is easier, and we are honored to host almost 1.5 million Australians in the United States each year, with over 200,000 Australians here on any given day. Half a million Americans are fortunate enough to visit your land each year.

Commercial relations began in 1792 with the arrival of the merchant ship the Philadelphia, among the first foreign trading vessels to visit the colony of New South Wales. Today, Australia and the United States are top trade and investment partners, with $65 billion in goods and services flowing between us each year. The United States is responsible for over a quarter of all foreign direct investment in Australia and we are the top destination for Australian investment abroad. Our cooperation is deep and comprehensive: from space exploration to protecting the world’s oceans to collaborating in the search for a cure for cancer.

The United States has no better friend than Australia, and our longstanding alliance is a force for stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and around the globe. I wish all of your people a blessed Australia Day, and continued prosperity and peace in 2017.