Sunrise, Canberra, Interview with Mike Amor

  • Transcript, E&OE
10 November 2016

JOURNALIST: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is with us from Canberra. Good morning Minister.

JULIE BISHOP: Good morning.

JOURNALIST: Donald Trump's victory has surprised many people around the world. Did you share that 'wow' moment?

JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government has been preparing for either a Trump or a Clinton win, and from the moment that Donald Trump won the Republican nomination he has been a very competitive candidate. So we are ready and prepared to work with President-elect Trump, and we've already reached out to his transition and campaign teams. We've been engaging very constructively with them, I met a number of them when I was in New York in September. And so we are ready to begin a very close dialogue with the President-elect, in Australia's national interests, because of course the United States is our major defence partner and a major trading partner.

JOURNALIST: You speak about defence and trade, a lot of people are saying this is terrible news for Australia. Donald Trump wants to reduce America's energy presence in the Asia Pacific region, also tough talk about China as far as trade and as territorial borders. Is this bad news for us?

JULIE BISHOP: I see it as an opportunity and I believe that Australia is uniquely placed to speak with the new Administration about our interests and the interests of our region, and these foreign policy statements have not yet been formulated into details. Donald Trump has said that everything is negotiable, so it will be incumbent on the Australian Government, the Prime Minister, our Ministers to make representations to our counterparts, to work very closely with the new Administration to ensure that there is a continued US presence and leadership in the Asia Pacific.

JOURNALIST: How does this work? Does the Prime Minister pick up the phone for Donald Trump? I know you've said you've reached out but do you pick up the phone and talk to him and, if so, when?

JULIE BISHOP: I expect that Prime Minister Turnbull will have an opportunity to speak to President-elect Trump in the next few weeks. Obviously it's a busy time for a new Administration. They have to appoint about 4000 positions, and so over the next few months the Trump transition team will be very busy, but I expect that our Prime Minister will have an opportunity to personally congratulate him. Minister Turnbull has joined with world leaders in publically congratulating the President-elect, and we look forward to engaging closely with members of the transition team and his new Administration once they are known and indeed nominated. Some of them will need to have Senate nominations and they can take some time, others can be appointed immediately.

JOURNALIST: Australia will just be one of the many countries around the world watching the transition. Thank you very much Julie Bishop.

- Ends -

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