Bilateral Relationship Of Australia Essay


Write an essay on bilateral Relationship of Australia and the United States in the post-Cold War.


The Australia-United States bilateral relationship originates from the early days of the Cold War and has, over the past ten years, evolved significantly in terms of trade and security (Jennings, 2013). Evident in the negotiations that have occurred towards a bilateral trade agreement and the participation in the conflicts with Iraq in the recent past- the relationship between Australia and the USA has become noticeably in the post-Cold War world. This joint relationship of the USA and Australia was conceptualized at the legislative level with the ANZUS treaty in 1951 (Kentor, 2015).There are many previous research works have been discussed and unfolds different perspective of the two nations bilateral relationship. Both the nations have integrally negotiated in order to maintain the nation’s security and international trade activities. Debates over rights and wrongs are now embedded both in the domestic deliberations and in the international arena. This research will evaluate both the components of security and international trade and try to understand which one are the most important aspects of this bilateral relationship of Australia-America.

In this assignment, the researcher is going to discuss the impacts of the bilateral stability between two countries. While the relationship has historically enjoyed strong bilateral endorsement, the research will try to investigate its implication in both the countries regarding national securities and the overseas trade in the recent times.

Research Question and Method:

By the adopting the theoretical concepts, the researcher will attempt a methodology by forming research questions. To evaluate the impacts of the bilateral relationship between Australia and the USA, the study needs to address the following central questions:

  • Which are the areas of joint relationships influenced by the negotiation between the United States and Australia?
  • Which transformation is the most significant in relation of the bilateral relationship between America and Australia- Trade or Security?
  • How international trade and security does get influenced by the bilateral relationship between America-Australia?

The researcher will collect the data using two processes: primary data collection and data collection through secondary research. The collection of primary data is a method of collection process where respondents collective opinion will be gathered though surveys, feedbacks and questionnaires. In the secondary data collection process, the researcher will get information from the available books, political journals, case studies, and other revisionist studies regarding the Australian-American alliance. However, the suitable method for data collection for this research would be primary research because the researcher will easily get information which will exploit the various opinions of the previous researchers, economist and political leaders. The further information will be collected from several books and journal. The strategy of research is the factor that is beneficial for research to gather information by practicing different strategies such as “case study”. For the doing the “secondary data collection”, the researcher have allocated various materials from the websites. Several authentic previous research or thesis papers relating to the research topic shall betaken into consideration for gather different shades of opinion which will help to develop the conceptual framework of this research topic.

Theoretical framework

This essay uses liberalism as a theoretical lens for examining the bilateral relationship between Australia and the United States. According to Goh (2015), liberalism was developed in the 1970s when some scholars grew in opposition to the then “dominant realist theory of international relationship”. Therefore, this new theory of the foreign relationship became popular to increase the globalization, rapid rise in the communication of technologies and increasing the trade culture. A few scholars stated this “Liberalization Theory” as the “Theory of Complex Interdependence” (Beeson and Higgott, 2014). According to this theory, “although the world is the risky place to survive but the use of military power sometimes outweigh the benefits”. In these cases, the foreign cooperation became the main interest for every country. As opined by Kim (2015), the power of the military needs to be considered as the as the form of power. However, the social and economic powers also need to be considered. Consequently, as the United States and Australia have a multifaceted relationship which covers many areas, including trade and security, liberalism as opposed to realism is a relevant theoretical approach. Here the researcher will follow an authentic and valid data collection procedure under the liberalism research philosophy. This research philosophy mainly concentrates in the liberal observations that exist in the previous historian articles, views, case studies. By the liberalism theoretical approach, the research shall identify progressive change of international relation between America and Australia post the cold global war.

Literature Review

The Australian- American relationship has played a pivotal role in the modern history. The issue has created lot of attention after the Pearl Harbor incident in the year 1941. The post war effect of the Pearl Harbor war has led to the alliance of the Australia and United States in forming of a joint military alliance. The advent of the joint alliance had created a permanent post-war security alliance between the two nations (Green and Cooper 2014). The ANZUS agreement was formed as a result of Pearl Harbor incident led an agreement setup in a very different situation of international circumstance from the prevailing wars against the Fascism in Europe and Asia. U.S. realized its policies of post war from the Europe and Asia- Pacific somewhat reluctantly agree to the “tripartite” with Australia and New Zealand only when faced the effect of communism in countries from South East Asia and East Asia. (Hendriks, 2015).

Analyzing the bilateral relationship of Australia with the United States over the past 10 years

In this section, the researcher is going to highlight the trade and security relationship between Australia and America. Both the facets of the relationship have gradually transformed and strengthened in last ten years. The researcher will indicate how the strategic position of Australia has moved from peripheral as it was during the phase of post-Cold War, to the central after the world’s geographical importance shifts to the Indo-Pacific region and Asia.

Trade Relations

Since the post-ColdWar, the economic relationship between Australia and America has seen many ups and downs. A strong trading support has been provided by the foreign trade department of America. The United States is one of the broadest “two-way” investment partners whose “two-way investment” reached at $1.3 trillion in December 2014. During that year, both the nations have engaged in the trade activities for almost $60.4 billion (Green & Cooper, 2014). Since the AUSFTA entered into the force on 1st January 2005, more than ninety seven percent of non-agricultural exports of Australia to the United States have made duty-free and two-thirds of tariff over agriculture was waived off. Now the companies of Australia have the access to enter into the federal procurement market of America. Furthermore, AUSTFA offers benefit in different sector. For instance, intellectual properties are now well protected. All the foreign trade agreements are facilitated better access. Now the firms of the United States are allowed to participate for the government of Australia on the basis of “nondiscriminatory”. By the effect of the agreement this growth has ensured the importance of the Australia’s export market in America’s manufacturing sectors such as autos, aircrafts, and computers, products of the electronics, machinery, paper products, wood and chemicals. After from the benefits of Australia by the effects of this free trade Agreement, the exports of U.S are also benefitted. The FTA allows the U.S suppliers to make their products more competitive in the market of Australia due to the fact of the reduction of duty. By qualifying goods under the agreement, the US exporter can easily generate a considerable savings (Johnson, Thomas, & Catherine, 2014). However, the fact of qualifying goods under this agreement is indeed a complex affair because all export goods must qualify its “origination”. In other terms, such products should have sufficient content of both the nations to fulfill the criteria of the nation. To obtain a certificate of origin, those importers are claiming preferences must require to prepare to submit the pertinent costs and information of the manufacture. This means that both the nations have been maintaining a transparent financial and economical international relationship.

The international relation of Australia is influenced by its position in the global foreign trade and the nation is being considered as an important donor of the humanitarian aid. Such international policy of Australia is leaded by a commitment to “regionalism and multilateralism” and most importantly strong bilateral relations with its allies (Goh, 2013). The most important aspects of their relation are the “Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement”. Australia, a conventionally staunch ally of US, has gradually strengthened their long standing alliance with the United States of America (Baylis, Smith & Owens 2013). In 2011, then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton firmly said that “ties between two nations are as close as any in the world”. To oppose her statement, then –Foreign Minister Rudd stated “No one can overestimate the importance of the sharing of common values in the international business relation”. Now, Australia’s strategic position has been changed and recently many economists and historians feel that both the nation maintains a strong economic relationship after the treaty of free trade. Both the nations share strategic interest in the region of Indo-Pacific and internationally both the nation has worked closely together for promoting their goals and objectives. It is indeed a positive fact that this bilateral relationship provides population support in Australia in the area of defense cooperation with the United Nations. By the strong impact of bilateral relationship of the companies, the bilateral services and goods trade has increased since the FTA entry into the force in 2015. For instance, investors of the USA significantly invest in Australia nearly about $756.2 billion which is 27.2 percent of the net foreign investment stock of Australia. On the other hand, the United Nation has become the Australia’s largest destination of the international investment. There are many remarkable reformations takes place since the last ten years in Australia. Since long, both the nations has been sanctioned an agreement for the “Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income” The most recent reformation in case of shifting the tax regime to consumption based system by the form of GST is also included as a new addition. In case of export to the United States, the government of Australia are also lowered their corporation tax and other tariff for encouraging more international transactions. Australia’s limited restrictions on investment and trade have ensured more economic success of Australia. On the other hand, the government of Canberraa coalition of National and Liberal parties, proposed a bilateral trade agreement with the United States (Johnson et al. 2014). The issue regarding the open trade with the United State has clear bipartisan support in Australia in the later stage of the agreement. However, Australia imposes barrier on certain agricultural products due to legitimate environmental concerns (Dittmer & He 2014). Besides establishing a strong relationship between both the nations, there are situations where foreign investment in some sectors are restricted which are significant for the national security. On the other hand, various negotiators on the trade agreement between Australia and the United Nation have successfully tackled issues regarding the unfair trade practices by the mutual satisfaction within the bilateral agreement. For instance, the two nations have successfully addressed anti-dumping measures. However, ant-dumping has been considered most disreputable intellectual but admired trade measures politically in the USA. On the contrary, these trade practice of America, has considered objectionable by other countries.

Security Relation

The ANZUS alliance of course is the backbone of the America-Australia strategic relationship. Despite the fact that New Zealand was vanished from the alliance because the nation was not allowed themselves to the use of nuclear-armed vehicles to its ports, still is in the integral part of the political landscape of Australia. Australia fought beside the United States in every war during the previous century, inclusive of less popular conflicts such as Vietnam when many of its people objected to its involvement. Over the last years, there has been significant increase in defense funding which would address critical deficiencies in the military establishment in Australia. By this treaty, Australia continuously occupies a central place in the minds of most of the policy makers. This treaty was included in the legislation of the Australia because it ensured to “accomplish the common danger in accordance with its constitutional process.” (Yan & Qi, 2012) Since the role of the American alliance is the pivotal factor in the infrastructural development of the economy, many researchers still form the compromised views regarding the bilateral relationship between two nations. Recently, Michel Fullilove one of the famous strategic thinkers, argued that the alliance deserves the support of progressives who value international institutions, human rights and policy makers. By this consensus view, Australia will be protected from the threats of strategies, free use of the interactions with military US forces and this acknowledge its high contribution to international security. In 2014, Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with President Barrack Obama in Washington. “US-Australia Force Posture Agreement” was announced a bilateral agreement for making the alliance stronger. This has been considered as an effort of making countries more valuable for encourage acts as a liberal democracy and human rights. According to Dittmer & He (2014), this is an effort of sustainable bilateral relationship where both the countries are following the norms and international laws. On the other hand, this agreement issued which is also pointed out the importance of cyber defense. Furthermore, these negotiations ensured positive response regarding cyber security incident. This has been anticipated by many economists that these may help in increasing shared capabilities of the allied assets. In short, this agreement has expanded its contribution on apoplectic bullet defense in the region of Asia Pacific. Australia continuously stresses on its alliance with the United Nation makes it a precious partner in the economic development front of the nation (Thomas, 2015). However, many researchers stated that “Australia’s political leadership does not see Australia’s economic relationship with China, which has been the largest trading partner of Australia since 2009, whereas the relationship with the USA is less capable”. However, the strategic efforts are still provided by the government of USA to Australia to develop the foreign policies make stinger the defense sector of the nation. At the key of the ANZUS alliance is the “Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) process”. In 2015, the Secretary of Defense met with the Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister to take an initiative towards making this strategic alliance of both the countries stronger and impactful. A joint statement released in that occasion includes new initiatives, several numbers of principles, and fulfillments in the areas of Military Corporation, counter-terrorism, stability towards the regional level, economic integration and change of climate (Yan & Qi 2012). During the Global Coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan, both the nation reconfirmed the “string state of bilateral defense and Security Corporation”. According to Beeson & Lee (2015), both the nations have taken forward their alliance for economic and political developments which maximizes the human benefits and ensure social sustainability. After ensuring the strong relationship, Australia and the United States stressed on their commitment by expanding trilateral corporation with Japan and compositely perceived the economic and strategic importance of India. In other words, both the nation welcomed the exclusion of the “Trans Pacific Partnership” Agreement and take initiatives towards the “ambitious climate agreement” (Park, 2013). This is a significant sustainable approach for the preserve of the natural resources of both the countries. The liberalization and the opening up free Australian economy has been core factor for the nation’s economic prosperity and the global competitiveness. Since the post cold global war, the economic condition was gradually improving after the establishment of the bilateral relationship between Australia and America. Many free trade policies make this relationship gradually stable and effective as well. For instance, AUSFTA incorporated more severe protections for IP right holders, more specifically, the pharmaceutical companies of USA and copyright holders. On the other hand, US markets for agricultural producers of Australia like dairy, beef were moderately liberalized whereas sugar is not liberalized at all (Rozman 2014). All these efforts were initialized to ensure the domestic agricultural stability for Australia. However, the most studies estimated that AUSFTA would have a little impact on the economy of Australia. Furthermore, the impacts and significance of AUSFTA is still a debatable factor in Australia (Lester et al. 2015).The nation is currently enjoying the foreign trade operations. The country is also joined in the global trend and started to sign various trade agreements at their preferential choices that liberalized investment and trade of the Australia.

On the issue of “ballistic missile defense”, the USA considered Australia as the most supportive ally. In the latest trade journal Defense Article of the USA, the Australian Minister for Defense said in relation to the America’s plan to move forward on bullet defense, “We (Australian) understand that the US government will take whatever steps it thinks is in its national interest in defending its territory”. This indicates that the mutual trust in security relationship is more strengthen area of the bilateral relationship of both the nations. In the Australian budget of 2014-15, the government of Australia reaffirmed its commitment to increase defense spending to two percent of GDP within a decade. This resource had accumulated a$29.2 billion in 2014-15 for the facet of defense (Goldgeier 2014).

Other Commitments between Australia and the United States

The bilateral agreement not only enhanced the security issues with military but it also helped in shaping of the intersecting cultures, technologies and ideas (Kelly, 2014). The Australia history focuses on major issues related to the political – strategic relationship and also shares the American hegemony. It acts as a base for the study of the cultural and social interactions mainly centered on the debates of the modernization and globalization. The search for military alliance of Australia and United States has been long traced back from the time when Alfred Deakin follow up with his Great White Fleet’s tour in the year 1908 with occasional attempts made by the successive prime ministers that followed. According to the researcher the main concern was related to the management of the Holt Government in managing of the alliance with US (Goldgeier, 2014). The study is based on the various revisionist histories relating to the involvement of Australia with America in the cold war period.

Evaluation of trade and security relations between Australia and America:

Discussing about the strategic relationship between both the countries, this can be evaluated that this bilateral relationship makes security alliance stronger. In case of trade assurance, many agricultural products are not included or else not protected by the two nation’s relationship. However, many researchers consider that security alliance is one of the fundamental strength of Australia. By the huge volume of defense funding the nation has ensured the cyber security, intellectual property preservation and more strengthen of national military. Furthermore, this was clarified that the government of Australia would produce new defense white paper that would provide guidance the defense capability of the nation for the upcoming period (Goldgeier, 2014). This new proposition establishes an alignment defense policy with the strategy of military which expected to deliver an affordable defense force structure of Australia,


The researcher have clearly discussed the bilateral relationship both the countries in post-cold war. This has been evaluated that both Australia and America has been strategically developed a strong alignment with each other in the global economic field. By getting tremendous support from the United Nation, Australia has strengthened their defense policies. The nation maintains a stable relationship with other conventional security relationships such as with New Zealand and other nations of FPDA. On the other side, the foreign trade policies have made the nation economically and financially stable because the nation has experienced a lot of foreign trade investments. Though the bilateral trade has expanded significantly but many issues regarding the tax reformation, agricultural barriers and other issues makes important compare to the bilateral defense relation of both the nation. Here the defense relationship can be considered more significant which has strengthened the political and economic conditions of Australia more secure and stable. On the issue of the Ballistic missile defense, Australia is perhaps the United States most supportive ally. For the relationship to remain vibrant into the future, both the nation is looking for regular economic consultations and political negotiations. Now the economy of Australia may be in much better shape compare to other developed Asian countries, however, there has not stopped Ministers of Australia from pointing to the fiscal difficulties of America as an excuse of their own new defense miserliness.


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