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Australia and the United States relations

Prime Minister Turnbull and President Trump at the 75th Anniversay Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative Dinner

Australia and the United States work closely with like-minded partners in regional and global forums, including the G20, East Asia Summit, World Trade Organization and United Nations.

In 2018, Australia and the United States will mark a centenary of mateship — a friendship first formed in the trenches of World War I during the Battle of Hamel on 4 July 1918. The two countries maintain a strong relationship, characterised by cultural similarities and robust bilateral arrangements. Today, Australia and the US maintain a unique bilateral partnership.  While we share many cultural similarities and underlying values, there are also strong formal structures of co-operation across government, particularly in foreign policy, defence and security, intelligence, development, energy, environment, education, law, trade and investment. Central to the relationship are the ANZUS Alliance and the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

Australia and the United States established diplomatic relations on 8 January 1940. Following the establishment of Australian and US Legations in March and July 1940 respectively, the White House announced the elevation of the Legations to Embassy status on 9 July 1946. Australia's first Ambassador to the United States, Norman J O Makin, presented his credentials to the US Government on 11 September 1946. The first US Ambassador to Australia, Robert Butler, presented his credentials on 25 September 1946.

High level visits

There has been a long standing and close relationship between Australian and United States leaders. See the extensive list of visits by Prime Ministers and Governor Generals to the United States since Federation, prepared by the US Office of the Historian, Department of State.

Recent visits to the United States

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited New York on 4 May and met President Donald Trump for the 75th Anniversary Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative Dinner. 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, has visited the United States on a number of occasions in 2017, meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and other senior representatives of the Trump Administration. 

The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, most recently visited the United States in June 2017 to meet the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, in Washington DC.  Mr Ciobo also visited in May 2017 to meet business representatives in Los Angeles, and in January 2017 for the G’Day USA program in New York, Austin and Los Angeles. 

Recent visits to Australia

Vice President Michael Pence visited Australia in April 2017. The Vice President met the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister in Sydney.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, and Secretary of Defence James Mattis, visited Australia in June 2017 for AUSMIN in Sydney.