National Nine News, interview with Peter Overton

  • Transcript, E&OE

JOURNALIST: Joining me now is Foreign Minister Julie Bishop from our Canberra studios. Minister, good evening to you. You've said you've already reached out to Trump's people, Trump's camp. What have they said about their ongoing commitment to Australia?

JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government is well prepared and ready to work with whomever the US public choose as their President and at this stage it would appear that Donald Trump is likely to become the 45th President of the United States, even though counting continues and Hilary Clinton has not conceded. We have been working constructively with the Trump Transition Team, as we have been with the Clinton Transition Team. The Australia-US relationship is strong – the United States is our largest source of foreign direct investment, our second largest trading partner, our longstanding strategic ally and defence partner – and so I anticipate that that relationship will continue. It's incumbent upon the Australian Government to work constructively to build a very productive relationship with the new President and the new Administration because it's in our interest for us to do so.

JOURNALIST: Ok, Donald Trump though is anti-free trade – what does it mean, you say we're going to try and keep our trade going with them, but really, what does it mean for our Trans Pacific Partnership?

JULIE BISHOP: We have a longstanding Australia-US Free Trade Agreement and there is no suggestion that that will be re-negotiated in any way. The US has a trade surplus with Australia and so I expect our longstanding Free Trade Agreement to continue. Both candidates oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership in its current form. We will be working with the Obama Administration because we must remember that President Obama retains full executive and constitutional authority up until midday on the 20 January 2017, and we will be urging the Obama Administration to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership into law during this transition period, known as the 'lame duck period'.

JOURNALIST: Ok, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, thank you.

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