We, President Biden and Prime Minister Albanese, inaugurated a new era of U.S.-Australia strategic cooperation during the Prime Minister’s Official Visit and State Dinner in Washington, D.C., today.
Our nations are inseparably linked by our common democratic values and the three pillars of our alliance: defense, economic, and climate and clean energy cooperation. As our alliance cooperation reaches new heights, we are expanding our partnership into new domains to reflect the evolution of our relationship and the growing complexity of global and regional challenges. At the core of our cooperation is a shared commitment to a peaceful, open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific. We reaffirm our commitment to work with Indo-Pacific partners and institutions to respond to shared challenges and ensure a region that is thriving, connected, resilient, and secure. These commitments are based on respect for international law, including as it pertains to the protection and promotion of human rights, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.
Today we announce the pursuit of new areas of cooperation on science and critical and emerging technologies so that we can build an “Innovation Alliance.” These initiatives will augment and complement our robust economic cooperation and trade; our foundational security and defense ties; our newly inaugurated cooperation on climate, critical minerals, and clean energy; and our enduring people-to-people connections.
Steadfast in these values, we condemn in the strongest possible terms Hamas’ heinous terrorist attack on Israel. The terrorist actions of Hamas can have no justification, no legitimacy, and must be universally condemned. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. Hamas offers nothing but terror and bloodshed. It does not represent the Palestinian people, nor their legitimate needs and aspirations.
Our countries will support Israel as it defends itself and its people against such atrocities. We affirm Israel’s inherent right to defend itself. In doing so, in line with the values we share as democracies, we call on all parties to act consistent with the principles of international law and to protect civilians as an utmost priority. We are concerned at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and call on all actors to ensure the provision of humanitarian supplies to populations in need.
Our two countries support equal measures of dignity, freedom, and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians alike and we mourn every civilian life lost in this conflict. We continue to support Palestinian aspirations for a state of their own and consider a two-state solution as the best avenue towards a lasting peace.
Promoting Advanced Technology and Space Cooperation
We welcome the announcement of a $3 billion investment in Australia by Microsoft, which will expand the company’s data center and Artificial Intelligence (AI) infrastructure in Australia over the next two years, train more than 300,000 Australians with the skills required for a cloud and AI-enabled economy, and create the Microsoft-Australian Signals Directorate Cyber Shield to harden Australia from cyber-threats to individuals, businesses, and governments. We also welcome the close partnership between the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), including bilateral cooperation through the NSF’s Global Centers initiative with up to $16.3 million for climate and clean energy research, and an AI partnership supported by a combined $6.2 million in grants to drive ground-breaking research. Additionally, the development of a Memorandum of Understanding between Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Australian National University intends to strengthen cooperation in research and education between the United States and Australia.
Our focus on innovation also extends to space, where we look forward to tomorrow’s signing of a space Technology Safeguards Agreement that creates the potential for new space-related commercial opportunities while providing the legal and technical framework to protect sensitive U.S. space launch technology and data in Australia consistent with our shared non-proliferation goals. We also welcome progress in negotiations of a bilateral space framework agreement, and encourage further joint commercial investment across all sectors, including space situational awareness and commercial space stations.
Building Clean Energy Supply Chains and Addressing the Climate Crisis
In May, we launched the historic Australia-United States Climate, Critical Minerals, and Clean Energy Transformation Compact (the Compact), which affirmed our shared determination to make climate and clean energy cooperation the third pillar of our alliance and counter the threat to global security and prosperity posed by climate change. We recognize that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will require rapid deployment of clean energy and decarbonization technologies, and increased electrification in our countries this decade, alongside the phasedown of unabated coal power.
Under the Compact, we convened the ministerial-level United States-Australia Clean Energy Dialogue between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. As part of our enhanced cooperation, we plan to collaborate on clean energy supply chains with the intent to leverage our comparative advantages and sovereign capabilities, beginning with a battery supply chain working group to explore the deepening of both countries’ manufacturing capability and work on battery technology research and development. We also announced our intention for a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. DOE Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations and Australian entities. Australia and the U.S. DOE intend to establish the Australia-United States Clean Energy Industry Council, which will draw on the expertise of business and public finance leaders to advise our governments on clean energy industry development and cooperation.
Recognizing that climate change poses the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security, and wellbeing of people and ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific, we announce today that the United States and Australia are working to jointly develop an Indo-Pacific Net-Zero Transition bond series to mobilize funding for small-medium sized enterprises with a focus on clean energy transition.
The United States and Australia intend to work to enhance access to the resources of the Green Climate Fund, and other relevant multilateral funds, especially for those most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS). This effort will be advanced, including through targeted bilateral technical assistance from USAID to LDCs and SIDS, and in coordination with DFAT’s program of support to Pacific Island countries
Recognizing the central role of critical minerals in the clean energy transformation, we also applaud the successful launch of the U.S.-Australia Critical Minerals Taskforce, led by the U.S. National Security Council in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Australia’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources. Leveraging the growing economic connections between both countries, the Taskforce identified areas in which the U.S. and Australian Governments can take joint action to increase investment in critical minerals mining and processing projects in our respective countries and enhance market transparency in this sector. A new Memorandum of Understanding between CSIRO and the United States Geological Survey around critical minerals aims to deepen relationships between U.S. and Australian researchers, including on minerals processing.
Prime Minister Albanese reiterated his support for President Biden’s request of Congress to add Australia as a “domestic source” within the meaning of Title III of the U.S. Defense Production Act, which would streamline technological and industrial base collaboration and build new opportunities for United States investment in the production and purchase of Australian critical minerals, critical technologies, and other strategic sectors. Taken together, these initiatives will further our efforts to build more diverse and resilient supply chains.
Recognizing the imperative to address non-CO2 pollutants as a key driver of global climate change, we intend to continue to take strong action at home on methane mitigation and consider opportunities to support developing countries in the Indo-Pacific with capacity building assistance on methane mitigation. The United States commends Australia’s robust action underway at home to address all greenhouse gases, including methane, as demonstrated in its comprehensive reporting of its climate policies and measures in its upcoming climate change statement. Under the Climate Compact, we plan to strengthen our cooperation on non-CO2 gases in the coming years. Together, we are committed to supporting the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund’s work to enhance support for early action to reduce HFC consumption and for improved energy efficiency for the HCFC phase-out and HFC phase-down in order to maximize the climate benefits of Montreal Protocol implementation.
Advancing Prosperity and Resilience in the Pacific and Southeast Asia
We are working through existing regional architecture, including the Pacific Islands Forum as the pre-eminent institution for Pacific Island Countries, to help the region meet its needs and aspirations, including as articulated in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. Australia welcomes the U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit held in Washington, D.C. last month. Signifying that commitment, today we announce that the United States and Australia plan to co‑finance critical maritime infrastructure projects in Kiribati, including the rehabilitation of Kanton Wharf and Charlie Wharf in Tarawa.
The U.S. Government, working with the U.S. Congress, and Australia through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific, intend to provide $65 million to finance future submarine cable connectivity for Pacific Island countries, to assist access to global markets and realization of regional connectivity goals. We plan to work collaboratively with commercial cable providers Google and Hawaiki Nui, in partnership with Pacific Island countries, to provide branching units for Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Building on existing support to the region, this work will position all Pacific Island countries to achieve primary connectivity and for countries with existing access to secure options for critical redundancy.
Together, the United States and Australia will engage Pacific Island nations to develop and deploy a pilot initiative in the region to increase national cyber resilience, to include upgraded data services and cloud-based back-ups. Australia also welcomes the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announcement at the U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit to launch an up to $50 million Pacific Islands Microfinance Partnership that would facilitate lending for small businesses in the Pacific Islands region.
The United States and Australia remain committed to evolving multilateral development banks to better address global challenges as part of their contribution to reducing poverty, boosting sustainable and inclusive growth, and helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We commit to raising the level of ambition to deliver more headroom and concessional finance to boost the World Bank’s capacity to support low- and middle-income countries in addressing global challenges and to provide strong support for the poorest countries. The United States and Australia will step up efforts to this end. Both countries continue to cooperate through the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to promote transparent, high-quality investment, including use of competitive procurement focused on value for money and strong development outcomes, that creates more opportunities for local employment and skills development across the Indo-Pacific, particularly the Pacific Islands.
We also remain committed to working with Pacific Island countries to maintain access to enduring banking services. Today, we jointly launch a new Pacific Banking Forum, in consultation with Pacific Island countries, to bring together our public and private sectors to address the causes of de-risking, and we affirm our plan to provide new and additional technical assistance to improve the region’s access to financial services. We further intend to work with the Pacific to address the costs and accessibility of correspondent banking relationships, including by addressing jurisdiction-specific challenges and exploring regional approaches to aggregate payment flows, as appropriate.
Australia welcomes the United States Coast Guard’s decision to forward deploy a cutter to the Pacific in early 2024 to provide an increased presence and support regional organizations to address maritime security priorities, including illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Australia plans to support the Coast Guard’s increased regional presence through logistical support during its periodic deployments to the region.
Recognizing the importance of greater cultural, business, and educational exchanges with the Indo-Pacific, the United States welcomes Australia’s establishment of a new Pacific Engagement Visa, to respond directly to requests from Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste for access to Australia.
We reiterate our enduring commitment to deepen our respective engagement with Southeast Asia. As Comprehensive Strategic Partners of ASEAN, we reaffirm our commitment to ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-led regional architecture, and to supporting the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We express our gratitude for Indonesia’s leadership of ASEAN during its 2023 ASEAN Chair year, including the East Asia Summit, and commit to support Laos as ASEAN Chair in 2024.
We also commit to work together, and with like-minded partners, to support Southeast Asia’s economic, development, and security priorities. We resolved to align implementation of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and Invested: Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 to boost investment in energy transition and other strategic sectors and build supply chain resilience. The United States and Australia also plan to support cooperation with regional countries to promote a fair, open, inclusive, and sustainable digital economy. Recognizing the importance of regional food security, the U.S. and Australia plan to support ASEAN’s efforts to build long-term resilient, inclusive, and sustainable agrifood systems, including through strengthening regional agricultural research and development. We look forward to furthering joint cooperation in Southeast Asia with regional partners, including Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Enhancing Defense and Security Cooperation
Recognizing the historic and strategically significant defense announcements made at AUSMIN 2023, we welcome the progress on the delivery of our ambitious trajectory for Enhanced Force Posture Cooperation, including the rotation of U.S. Army Watercraft in Australia commencing in July, and scoping of upgrades at key Australian bases in the north. We also welcome the completion of a new fuel facility at RAAF Base Darwin in support of Enhanced Air Cooperation between the United States and Australia. We strongly endorse the work under way to establish guided weapons co-production, as a first step towards higher volumes of industrial production for the alliance. We applaud the implementation of the Australia-Japan Reciprocal Access Agreement, which has already deepened exercise collaboration and capabilities integration, paving the way for Australia’s first ever participation in Exercises YAMA SAKURA and KEEN EDGE in Japan. Today, we announce our intention to explore trilateral cooperation with Japan on Unmanned Aerial Systems. Our cooperation aims to enhance interoperability and accelerate technology transfer in the rapidly emerging field of collaborative combat aircraft and autonomy.
We also affirm our commitment to bilateral cooperation on collaborative combat aircraft. Our cooperation will enhance interoperability and accelerate technology transfer in the rapidly emerging field of Unmanned Aerial Systems. In addition, Australia welcomes the U.S. decision to acquire the E-7A Wedgetail, and continued U.S. cooperation with Australia to ensure we can jointly develop and operate advanced military capabilities.
We note the substantial progress being made to support Australia’s acquisition of conventionally-armed, nuclear‑powered submarines through the trilateral AUKUS partnership while ensuring that these activities set the highest nuclear non-proliferation standard and are consistent with the partners’ international and domestic obligations and commitments. Since we stood together in San Diego and announced the pathway for Australia to acquire conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs) in March, the first Australian military personnel have graduated from U.S. nuclear power school, and the U.S.S. North Carolina has completed the first SSN port visit to Australia in support of AUKUS. We also strongly support our deepened cooperation on advanced capabilities under AUKUS. We continue to make progress across our current capability development programs, including holding the first demonstration of AUKUS artificial intelligence and autonomous capabilities. As our work progresses on these and other defense and security capabilities, we will seek opportunities to engage allies and close partners. Our efforts through AUKUS are one of the many ways we are working together to deter aggression and support a free and open Indo-Pacific that is secure and stable.
We welcome the momentum and significant steps underway to streamline defense trade controls and information sharing between our nations, as part of our shared commitment to maximizing the strategic and technological advantage of the Alliance and to maximize the full potential of AUKUS. Australia acknowledges the U.S. Administration’s significant steps in this regard, including the Biden Administration’s bold proposal to Congress that would transform export controls laws. Australia is also examining its export controls framework to streamline the flow of defense information and technology and is taking steps to realize this ambition. Collectively these actions are designed to enhance and expedite collaboration between and among AUKUS partners to help us maintain our capability edge, while strengthening our ability to protect the sensitive technologies that underpin our security. Furthermore, we reiterate our joint commitment to strengthening security standards to safeguard sensitive technology and information.
We also affirm the importance of strengthening our cyber security in response to increasing global threats. The United States and Australia have a shared interest in promoting a safer and more secure cyberspace bilaterally and in multilateral forums, including with the Partners in the Blue Pacific, the Quad, and the International Counter Ransomware Initiative.
At AUSMIN 2011, both governments recognized that in the event of a cyberattack that threatens the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of either of our nations, under the ANZUS Treaty, the United States and Australia would consult together and determine appropriate options to address the threat. Today, we reaffirm that international law applies in cyberspace and that a cyberattack on our nations could constitute an armed attack under Article IV of the ANZUS Treaty. A decision as to when such a cyberattack would lead to the invocation of Article IV would be made on a case-by-case basis through close consultations between the United States and Australia.
We affirm that States should take appropriate measures to ensure the responsible development, deployment, and use of their military AI capabilities, including those enabling autonomous functions and systems.
Strengthening our Economic Security and Resilience
We affirm our intention to continue increasing cooperation to build our shared economic security and resilience, including by promoting open, fair, and rules-based trade, countering non-market policies and practices, and deterring and addressing economic coercion. We intend to increase our cooperation to address these practices, including with other partners and allies.
As we strengthen and integrate our innovation ecosystems, we have a shared interest in enhancing our technology protection toolkits to ensure sensitive advanced technologies critical to military modernization cannot be used to undermine international peace and security. Australia acknowledges the strategic rationale of the U.S. Executive Order to advance a targeted set of controls on outbound investments in sensitive technologies with a core national security nexus. Australia regularly reviews its investment settings to ensure they remain fit for purpose to deal with emerging risks. We intend to maintain close consultations and communicate clearly to the private sector regarding our joint resolve and shared objectives in this area, including our long-standing commitment to investment and open and fair trade.
The United States and Australia have a deep and long-standing trade and investment relationship, underpinned by the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. We continue to work together to promote diversified supply chains and fair and open, rules-based trade. We share a commitment to the rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. We continue to work together to reform the WTO so that it is better equipped to achieve its foundational objectives and address modern day challenges, and remain committed to conducting discussions with a view to having a fully- and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024. We look forward to a successful Thirteenth WTO Ministerial Conference and will continue to work constructively to ensure positive outcomes, including on reform issues.
We are committed to delivering strong outcomes on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Together with other IPEF partners, the United States and Australia are tackling new and emerging economic challenges, including by strengthening trade connectivity and regional supply chains, unlocking green trade and investment to support the clean energy transition, accelerating anti-corruption, and enhancing tax cooperation efforts in the region.
Throughout the U.S. host year of APEC, we continue to advance a free, fair, and open economic policy agenda that empowers our workers and benefits all our people. We look forward to a successful APEC Economic Leaders’ Week next month in San Francisco, which will make further progress towards a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future for us all.
Promoting Global and Regional Peace and Stability
We are committed to upholding a global order underpinned by international rules and norms, with the United Nations (UN) at its heart. The United States and Australia are steadfast in their commitment to upholding international law, including the United Nations Charter and call for all countries to uphold its purposes, principles, and obligations arising under the Charter, including refraining from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war against Ukraine. Russia’s war violates international law, including the UN Charter, and is driving global food and energy insecurity. We once again call on Russia to immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw its forces from within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine. The United States and Australia are committed to supporting Ukraine to empower it to resolve this conflict on its own terms.
In addition to support to Ukraine, Australia responded to a request from the United States to deploy a Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail aircraft to Germany, which starts operations this week. The Australian deployment will bolster the multilayered protection of the international flow of assistance to Ukraine by providing early warning of a threat against the gateway of assistance. The United States also welcomes Australia’s recent announcement that it will provide an additional $13 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including counter-drone and demining equipment.
Furthermore, we reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We strongly condemn the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) unprecedented number of ballistic missile launches, including multiple intercontinental ballistic missile launches, that pose a grave threat to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and beyond. We reiterate our commitment to the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime and its cornerstone, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We reaffirm our commitment to practical efforts to reduce nuclear risks and to the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the Quad and its shared vision of an open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific. We will continue to deliver on the Quad’s positive and practical agenda, guided by the priorities of regional countries and responding to the regions’ needs. We reiterate the Quad’s unwavering support and respect for regional institutions, including ASEAN, PIF, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association. The United States applauds the success of Australia hosting the 2023 Quad Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima and we look forward to the next Quad Leaders’ Summit being held in India.
We emphasize the importance of all States being able to exercise rights and freedoms in a manner consistent with international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including freedom of navigation and overflight. We strongly oppose destabilizing actions in the South China Sea, such as unsafe encounters at sea and in the air, the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, including to interfere with routine Philippines maritime operations around Second Thomas Shoal, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation. We also recognize that the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award is final and legally binding on the parties in that proceeding, and we are concerned about China’s excessive maritime claims that are inconsistent with international law, as well as unilateral actions that may raise tensions and increase the risk of miscalculation in the region. We resolve to work with partners to support regional maritime security and uphold international law.
We reaffirm the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and our shared opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo. We call for the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues through dialogue without the threat or use of force or coercion.
We emphasize the importance for all countries of promoting open channels of communication and practical measures to reduce the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation and to prevent conflict in the Indo-Pacific.
Strengthening People-to-People Ties
We acknowledge the richly diverse cultures of Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Australia, and both Governments reiterate our commitment to working in partnership with Native Hawaiians, Native American Tribes, and First Nations Peoples.
The United States and Australia have a shared interest in ensuring that our trade and investment agenda delivers inclusive economic growth and benefits for everyone. Today we have also committed to work together, and in genuine partnership with Indigenous businesses and stakeholders from both the United States and Australia, to grow opportunities for our Indigenous Peoples to enjoy the economic prosperity created by our two-way trade and investment. We welcome the opportunities that will be created by the U.S. announcement of new funding that will work with Australian government programs to support ongoing dialogue, knowledge-sharing, and increased business opportunities for our Indigenous Peoples over the coming months and years.
The United States is pleased to begin initial discussions with its international partners, including Australia, to explore a U.S. Transportation Security Administration “One Stop Security” pilot program. “One Stop Security” would streamline security screening requirements and shorten transit times for covered passenger populations. We appreciate Australia’s interest in this pilot opportunity and look forward to continuing conversations based on security commensurability.
We reaffirm our commitment to gender equality, including through achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5, promoting women’s leadership, and advancing women’s economic empowerment globally, as well as countering efforts to push back against women’s and girls’ human rights. We emphasize the importance of working with partners to combat all forms of gender-based violence—online and offline—and fully implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda, especially in the Indo-Pacific. We commit to reinforce this coordination through our annual bilateral strategic dialogue on gender equality and as founding members of the Women in the Sustainable Economy Initiative. We also recommit to working together to promote children’s online safety, including through strengthening bilateral coordination to advance awareness, prevention, and response to child sexual exploitation and abuse online.
This visit serves to reaffirm the commitment of the United States and Australia to build on our existing cooperation to enhance an Innovation Alliance that will benefit our two countries and the entire Indo-Pacific.