Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper to hold consultations with Australian counterparts on Aug 4

Both sides will particularly discuss economic needs of Indo-Pacific region

BYYasir Rehman


Australia–United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) will be held in Sydney on 4 August, 2019.  Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds will hold annual consultations with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on range of issues.

It would be Mark Esper first foreign visit after taking charge of Secretary of Defence.

“Both Australia and the US are committed to an inclusive region where state sovereignty is respected, and where trade, capital and ideas flow freely”, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said in a joint statement.

For 34 years, AUSMIN has served as the annual, principal forum for Australia–US cooperation on strategic, foreign and defence policy.

Mark Esper was confirmed as US Secretary of Defence early this week

Both ministers believed that Ministerial Consultations are an opportunity to strengthen our alliance by deepening diplomatic, security, and economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

They will discuss building economic cooperation to strengthen development, innovation, and wealth creation in the Indo-Pacific, and how they can work together with Pacific partners to meet their infrastructure and security needs.

Australia–US collaboration in South East Asia and the South West Pacific will be a key focus.

“We will discuss Australia’s Pacific Step-Up, closer military-to-military cooperation, the continuing effort to combat terrorism and violent extremism online, and address key issues of regional security”, they maintained.

Trade and investment relationship between Australia and USA is thriving, underpinned by the bilateral free trade agreement. Two-way investment reached AUD$1.7 trillion in 2018 and the US is by far the largest source of foreign investment into Australia.

“We look forward to reinforcing our strong and mutually beneficial economic ties they said adding our relationship with the United States is built on an historic alliance – established by the ANZUS Treaty in 1951 – and deepened by our shared vision for a safer and more prosperous Indo-Pacific”.