Trade minister heads to US to boost economic ties

Trade Minister Don Farrell is embarking on a four-day trip to the United States in a bid to boost economic ties after the nations agreed to the historic transfer of nuclear technology.

The American, Australian and British defence supply chains and manufacturing sectors are set to be more closely intertwined as the three nations work under the AUKUS pact to build nuclear submarines.

Senator Farrell will attend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework meetings, where discussions will also span the transition to clean energy and a safe region amid anxiety over China.

He will also meet US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo while in Detroit.

Senator Farrell said the government was committed to diversifying trade relations and ‚Äúdelivering broader and stronger trade agreements for the benefit of Australian businesses and workers‚ÄĚ.

Negotiations also continue on Australian access to vital defence technology in the context of strong US arms export laws.

Canada is carved out of those laws, an exception Australia is also seeking in a bid to cut red tape and streamline co-operation.

The minister’s visit comes against the backdrop of tense negotiations between President Joe Biden and Congress over raising the debt ceiling to avoid a catastrophic default.

Markets are already dragging due to the uncertainty over negotiations but a default could send destructive ripples through the global economy and further spook investors.

 

Dominic Giannini
(Australian Associated Press)

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