February 07, 2017

Bipartisan Senators Introduce Resolution Reaffirming Strong U.S.-Australia Alliance

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a bipartisan resolution reaffirming the Senate’s commitment to the enduring American-Australian alliance.

The resolution reaffirms the strong alliance relationship between Australia and the United States; supports continued diplomatic, military, and economic cooperation between Australia and the United States; and reaffirms the importance of a U.S.-Australia relationship based on mutual respect and befitting a close and longstanding U.S. alliance partner crucial to the preservation of our national interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific and around the world.

“The U.S-Australia alliance is an anchor for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide.  Australia is one of our closest friends, and for decades we have cooperated on a host of global issues such as terrorism, climate change, infectious diseases, and counter-narcotics. Australian has fought together with the United States military in every significant conflict since World War I, been a leading partner in combatting ISIS, and played a critical support role for our Marines in the region,” Senator Cardin said.  “Underpinning our alliance is a strong sense of shared common values, histories, and ideals among the people of Australia and the United States. That bond is rooted in a sacred vow of friendship and trust, where Australia has always been a faithful and reliable partner to the United States, and that should go both ways. I am proud to introduce this resolution to reaffirm this sentiment and recommit to an even stronger relationship moving forward.”

“The people of the United States do not have better friends than the people of Australia. As one Australian told me when my family lived in Sydney thirty years ago, ‘Well, we’re mates all right. The English may be our ancestors, but you Americans are our cousins – first cousins.’ Today, no two countries trust one another and cooperate in security arrangements more than American and Australia. We trade, we stand by each other in war, we visit one another and our students study in each other’s universities,” Senator Alexander said. “It is always appropriate for the U.S. Senate to reaffirm the importance of that relationship."

“Australians and Americans have been comrades-in-arms for nearly a century, and our alliance continues to be a force for global peace and stability. Today, as President Trump disparages and disrespects our longstanding partners and allies, it is more vital than ever to strengthen our relationship with Australia,” Senator Markey said. “I’m proud to join Senators Cardin, Alexander, and Rubio in co-sponsoring this resolution that reaffirms our bedrock alliance.”

From World War I to the fight against ISIS, Australia has often sent their young men and women to die in conflicts that impacted America’s security more than its own. Our security relationship is among the best in the world, and the economic ties between our two countries support hundreds of thousands of American jobs. They are one of our closest allies,” Senator Rubio said. “We need to continue to strengthen our partnership with this essential ally in the decades ahead as we face common challenges in Asia and beyond.

Joining the Senators in introducing the resolution as original cosponsors are Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

In the House of Representatives, Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) are introducing a similar Resolution on behalf of their colleagues.

The text of the Senate resolution follows:

Reaffirming a strong commitment to the United States-Australia alliance relationship.

Whereas Australia is a vital partner of the United States;

Whereas the United States and Australia share core values as well as deep cultural, security, and people-to-people ties;

Whereas Australia has been a treaty ally of the United States since the signing of the Australia-New Zealand-United States (ANZUS) Treaty in 1951;

Whereas United States-Australia defense ties and cooperation are exceptionally close, and Australian forces have fought together with the United States military in every significant conflict since World War I;

Whereas Australia was one of the first countries to commit troops to United States military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq after September 11, 2001;

Whereas Australia is a close partner of the United States, sharing information essential to the defense and security of the two countries, including through the Five Eyes intelligence community;

Whereas the United States-Australia alliance is an anchor for peace and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region and around the world;

Whereas Australia has welcomed proposals to reposition United States Marines from Okinawa to improve the United States strategic posture in the Indo-Asia Pacific region;

Whereas Australia has led peacekeeping efforts in the Indo-Asia Pacific, including in Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands;

Whereas Australia and the United States share strategic interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific region and globally, and have worked together to promote these shared goals and objectives;

Whereas the United States and Australia have been free trade agreement partners since 2005, and the United States has a positive trade balance with Australia;

Whereas the United States and Australia work closely in the numerous global and regional fora, including the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum;

Whereas Australia shares many of the United States’ concerns in the struggle against Islamist militancy in Southeast Asia and beyond, and is part of the global coalition to defeat the “so-called Islamic State (IS)”; and

Whereas the United States and Australia have enjoyed a close relationship over many successive Republican and Democratic administrations: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) reaffirms the strong alliance relationship between Australia and the United States;

(2) supports continued diplomatic, military, and economic cooperation between Australia and the United States; and

(3) reaffirms the importance of a U.S.-Australia relationship based on mutual respect and befitting a close and longstanding U.S. alliance partner crucial to the preservation of our national interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific and around the world.

 

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