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Donald Trump to host Australia’s prime minister for rare state dinner


Donald Trump to host Australia’s prime minister for rare state dinner

morrison trump us australia
Photo: AAP

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet with US President Donald Trump in Washington today on an official state visit.

Relations between Washington and Canberra have been much more cordial since Morrison took office. This is likely a result of two key factors.

First, balance of trade is an important issue to the US president, and Australia has a large trade deficit with the US; the US gets its fifth-largest trade surplus from Australia at $7.8 billion. Second, a populist conservative like Trump, the Australian premier shares the US president’s concerns about Beijing’s habitual skirting of international trade rules. He has also has committed Australian support to the US effort to guard oil shipments from Iranian seizures in the Strait of Hormuz.

Expect Morrison to continue to reaffirm his government’s commitment to Washington, at least regarding freedom of navigation and enforcement of international rules pertaining to trade. Such support may manifest itself in increased military commitment to protecting oil routes in the Gulf and a broad discussion about ways in which Australia can support the US in its current trade war against China.

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