The Full Wiki

United States–Australia relations: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States – Australia relations
United States   Australia
Map indicating location of United States and Australia
     United States      Australia

United States – Australia relations refers to international relations between Australia and the United States of America. While Australia has traditionally been aligned with the Commonwealth of Nations, it has strengthened its relationship with the United States since 1942, as Britain's influence in Asia declined.

At the governmental level, United-States-Australia relations are formalised by the ANZUS treaty and the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement. Moreover, the United States has had a considerable impact on Australian culture.[citation needed]

Both the United States and Australia share some common ancestry and history (see British Empire), having both been British colonies. Both countries had native peoples who were dispossessed of their land. Both have been part of the Western alliance of nations in various wars. There are numerous other similarities.

The penal colonies of Australia were actually a redirect from the Thirteen Colonies, for indentured and penal transportation for debtors was officially first begun in the Province of Georgia. Britain could no longer send convicts to British America in a rebellious climate, so the best choice was somewhere out of the way. This resulted in the founding of New South Wales.


Country comparison

Australia Australia United States United States
Population 22,010,766 307,721,000
Area 7,686,850 km2 (2,967,909 sq mi) 9,826,630 km2 (3,794,066 sq mi )
Population Density 2.833/km2 (7.3/sq mi) 31/km2 (80/sq mi)
Capital Canberra Washington, D.C.
Largest City Sydney – 4,399,722 New York City – 8,363,710 (19,006,798 Metro)
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy Federal presidential constitutional republic
Official languages English (de facto) English (de facto)
Main religions 63.9% Christianity, 18.7% non-Religious, 11.2 % Undeclared, 2.1% Buddhism,

1.7% Muslim, 0.7% Hinduism, 0.5% Judaism

75% Christianity, 20% non-Religious, 2% Judaism, 1% Buddhism, 1% Muslim
Ethnic groups 92% European, 7% Asian, 1% Indigenous [1] 74% White American, 14.8% Hispanic and Latino Americans (of any race), 13.4% African American,
6.5% Some other race, 4.4% Asian American, 2.0% Two or more races,
0.68% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.14% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
GDP (nominal) US$1.013 trillion ($46,824 per capita) US$14.441 trillion ($47,440 per capita)
Military expenditures $23.04 billion (FY 2009–10) $663.7 billion (FY 2010) [2]


Australian frigate Newcastle alongside U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz in the Persian Gulf in September 2005

In 1908, Prime Minister Alfred Deakin invited the Great White Fleet to visit Australia during its circumnavigation of the world. The fleet stopped in Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Deakin, a strong advocate for an independent Australian Navy, used the visit to raise the public's enthusiasm about a new navy.

The visit was significant in that it marked the first occasion that a non-Royal Navy fleet had visited Australian waters. Many saw the visit of the Great White Fleet as a major turning point in the creation of the Royal Australian Navy. Shortly after the visit, Australia ordered its first modern warships, a purchase that angered the British Admiralty.[3]

In 1942, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin put U.S. General Douglas MacArthur in direct command of the Australian military, which comprised the majority of MacArthur's forces at the time.[citation needed] MacArthur's headquarters were located in Brisbane until 1944 and Australian forces remained under MacArthur's overall command until the end of World War II. The U.S. Embassy opened in 1943.



After the war, the American presence in the southeast Pacific increased immensely, most notably in Japan and the Philippines. In view of the cooperation between the Allies during the war, the decreasing reliance of Australia and New Zealand on the United Kingdom, and America's desire to cement this post-war order in the Pacific, the ANZUS Treaty was signed by Australia, New Zealand and the United States in 1951.[4] This full three-way military alliance replaced the ANZAC Pact that had been in place between Australia and New Zealand since 1944.

Australia has been involved in most major American military endeavours since World War II including the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War and both Iraq Wars—all without invocation of ANZUS. The alliance has only been invoked once, for the invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C..

War on Terror

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which eleven Australian citizens were also killed, there was an enormous outpouring of sympathy from Australia for the United States. Prime Minister John Howard became one of President George W. Bush's strongest international supporters, and supported the United States in the invasion of Afghanistan.

In 2004 the Bush Administration "fast tracked" a free trade agreement with Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald called the deal a "reward" for Australia's contribution of troops to the Iraq invasion.[5][6]

However, current Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd indicated that the 550 Australian combat troops in Iraq would be removed by mid-2008. Despite this, there have been suggestions from the Australian government that might lead to an increase in numbers of Australian troops in Afghanistan to roughly 1,000.[7]


Since 1985, there have been annual ministerial consultations between the two countries, known as AUSMIN. The venue of the meeting alternates between the two countries. It is attended by senior government ministers such as the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australian Minister for Defence, US Secretary of Defense and US Secretary of State.[8]

Australian tours by U.S. Presidents

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, talks with United States President Barack Obama in Washington DC.

The first Australian visit by a President[9] was that of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 to seek support for Australia's ongoing involvement in the Vietnam war. Australia had previously sent advisers and combat troops to Vietnam. More recently, George W. Bush visited in 2003 and addressed a joint sitting of the Australian Parliament, again to acknowledge Australia's involvement in the US-led war on terror.

Dates President Cities visited Reason
20–23 October, 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville State visit; met with Governor-General Richard Casey and Prime Minister Harold Holt.
21–22 December, 1967 Lyndon B. Johnson Melbourne Attended funeral of Prime Minister Harold Holt and conferred with other attending heads of state.
31 December, 1991 – 3 January, 1992 George H. W. Bush Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne Met with Prime Minister Paul Keating and senior Australian officials; addressed the Australian Parliament.
19–23 November, 1996 Bill Clinton Sydney, Canberra, Port Douglas State visit. Addressed joint meeting of Parliament and visited the Great Barrier Reef.
22 October, 2003 George W. Bush Canberra Met with Prime Minister John Howard and addressed Parliament.
2–5 September, 2007 George W. Bush Sydney Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference.

United States tours by Australian Prime Ministers

Dates Prime Minister Cities/Countries visited Reason
17 April 1986[10][11] Bob Hawke US/Australian relations met with President Reagan. US offered a USD5M gift for Australia's bicentennial celebrations for the proposed Australian Maritime Museum.[12]
22–24 June, 1988[11] Bob Hawke Washington, D.C. met with President Reagan and other government officials.
7–15 July 2000[13] John Howard Japan and USA
4–8 September, 2000[14][15] John Howard Millennium Summit and Commonwealth High Level Review Group
8–14 June, 2001[16] John Howard
8–14 September 2001[16] John Howard State Visit. Was to address a joint sitting of the US Congress on 12 September, but this was cancelled due to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
28 January-8 February, 2002[16] John Howard
8–16 February, 2003[17] John Howard
1–10 May, 2005[18] John Howard New York City, Washington, D.C. State visit; Addressed the 60th anniversary session of the United Nations in New York City
8–14 May, 2006[19] John Howard
March/April 2008[20] Kevin Rudd Washington Part of 17-day world tour to China, the US, the UK and Europe. Met with George Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.[21] Also met with several presidential candidates.[22]

Kyoto Protocol

Australia's current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, ratified the Kyoto Protocol on December 3, 2007, leaving the United States as the last major industrial nation not to ratify the agreement.[7] Australia's previous government, led by Liberal John Howard, refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol citing, along with the United States, that it would "damage their economies".[23]


Trade between the United States and Australia is strong, as evidenced by the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement. The United States is Australia’s fourth largest export market and its second largest source of imports.[24] The United States is also the largest investor in Australia.

Australia and the United States also provide significant competition for each other in several third-party exports such as wheat, uranium and wool and, more recently, in the information technology sector. Although the US has a sizable sheep population, American imports of lamb meat from Australia and New Zealand remain stronger than the domestic output.

See also



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Macdougall, A (1991). Australians at War A Pictorial History. Noble Park, Victoria: The Five Mile Press. p. 360. ISBN 1-86503-865-2. 
  4. ^ Full text of the ANZUS Treaty
  5. ^ President Bush Signs U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement
  6. ^ US House approves free trade pact – News –
  7. ^ a b Reynolds, Paul (2007-11-26). "Australia shifts course, away from US". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  8. ^ "2005 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations Joint Communique". Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 2006-12-10. 
  9. ^ "Australia". US Department of State. Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  10. ^ "NSDD – National Security Decision Directives – Reagan Administration". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  11. ^ a b "Visit of Australian Prime Minister – Robert J.L. Hawke and Ronald Reagan address – transcript". US Department of State Bulletin. September , 1988. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  12. ^ "U.S./Australian Relations (NSC-NSDD-229)". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  13. ^ "Annual Report 1999-2000". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2000. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  14. ^ "Annual Report 2001-01". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2001. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  15. ^ "Media release: Visit to New York". Prime Minister of Australia. 18 August 2000. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  16. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2001-02". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2002. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  17. ^ "Annual Report 2002-03". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2003. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  18. ^ "Annual Report 2005-06". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  19. ^ "President Bush Welcomes Prime Minister John Howard of Australia to the White House". Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  20. ^ Mark Kenny (March 27, 2008). "American alliance still strong ahead of Kevin Rudd's world tour". Herald Sun.,21985,23437386-662,00.html. 
  21. ^ "Kevin Rudd goes global". SMH. March 28, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Rudd to meet White House hopefuls". ABC. March 31, 2008. 
  23. ^ Black, Richard (2005-07-27). "New climate plan 'to rival Kyoto'". BBC. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  24. ^


External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address