Statement on Indulgence US Election Result

10 Nov 2016
Prime Minister


Mr Speaker, this morning I spoke with President-elect Trump and offered the Australian Government's congratulations on his election victory.

Mr Trump spoke warmly and admiringly of Australia and reaffirmed the Australian-American Alliance is of enormous importance to the United States, and would remain so.

We also offer our best wishes to Secretary Hillary Clinton for her participation in a hard-fought campaign.

As many Australians observed over the last 18 months, this was a long and gruelling campaign, certainly by our standards.

As President Obama said overnight: “Campaigns are hard and sometimes contentious and noisy.” He added: “Many Americans are exalted today, a lot of Americans are less so, but that’s the nature of campaigns, that’s the nature of democracy.”

And it shows, Mr Speaker, the enduring strength of the democratic system, where the power to choose the Government resides with the people.

And there has been perhaps no greater demonstration of that process than in the United States. More people voted in this United States election than in 2012, with voter turnout up nearly 5 per cent.

That’s a very good thing for democracy.

It was noticeable that despite an intense and at times a very confronting campaign, President-elect Trump immediately reached out to bring Americans together in his victory speech, and in doing so praised and thanked Secretary Clinton for her public service.

Mr Speaker, I can assure the House and the Australian people that my Government will continue to work closely with the administration of the United States when it is installed in January to advance Australia’s national interest - for this is the ultimate role of national leaders, of prime ministers and presidents. 

I will ensure we work effectively and constructively with America’s 45th President.

It is in our nations’ mutual interest to maintain the strongest and closest ties between the United States’ and Australia’s defence forces - a relationship that has seen American and Australian troops fight side-by-side in every major conflict in the last century.

Indeed tomorrow, Remembrance Day we will commemorate the day - 98 years ago - when the guns fell silent on the Great War - a victory won in no small measure by the brilliance of Australia’s General John Monash and the courage of the Australian, British and American troops that he led into battle.

Australia has close, indeed intimate, security arrangements with other friends and allies, but our Alliance with the United States is unquestionably our single most important security relationship, underpinned by our mutual security pact - the ANZUS Treaty concluded between Australia, New Zealand and the United States in 1951.

Mr Speaker, the ties that bind Australia and the United States are strong, profound - they are based on the experience, on the engagement of millions of Australians and Americans, but above all they are based on our enduring national interests.

Americans know they have no better ally - no better friend - than Australia.

Above all, our relations are underpinned by the values that we share - a dedication to democracy, freedom and the rule of law.

As I have said before, the United States has for decades been the bedrock of regional prosperity and security so vital to Australia and its partners.

The Pax Americana of the last 40 years and beyond has been the basis on which we have seen the most remarkable transformation in economic growth, in living standards, raising billions of people out of poverty in our own region.

And that is why my Government, and I believe every Australian government, will continue to advocate for a strong ongoing role for the United States in the Asia Pacific. 

Australia will always be a constructive, solid, committed partner in peace and stability in our region.

And we will continue to work together to confront the global challenges that face us - whether they be combatting Daesh, ISIL and terrorism, supporting security and maintenance of peace and security in Afghanistan, standing in solidarity against North Korea’s missile testing, upholding respect for the rule of law in international affairs.

We’ll also cooperate closely on trade and investment, with our own free trade agreement with the United States, delivering significant benefits to both our nations.

I remind the House that in 2015, two way trade was worth $70.2 billion, up 68 per cent since the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement commenced - while two-way investment was $1.45 trillion.

For all these reasons, our nations will continue to be united in our objectives of global stability, security, and prosperity. 

Mr Speaker, let me take just a moment to acknowledge President Obama and his team, including Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry, and Secretary of Defense Carter.

We have had a very good relationship with the current Administration - one that has seen the strength of the Australia-US Alliance, our partnership continue to grow, to deepen in every respect. President Obama has served the world well as the leader of the United States and he has advanced the common interests of both our nations.

We will continue to work closely with the Obama Administration in the transition period between now and the 20th of January.

Mr Speaker, the decision of the United States election has been a great and momentous one, and we wish President-elect Trump and his administration all the best in their work in the future.

The fate of the world, the future of the world depends on strong American global leadership.America has been the bedrock of global stability, of peace in the world and we look forward to a strong America, a committed America, and Australia will be as it has been in the past - a strong and committed ally as America stands for peace in the world today.