Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Australian Prime Minister, Trump Emphasize Shared Goals During Joint Press Conference

Australian Prime Minister, Trump Emphasize Shared Goals During Joint Press Conference

President Trump is hosting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House.

Mr Turnbull said he did not raise the issue during his meeting with Mr Trump, despite Australia's world-renowned success since major reforms following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

The meeting comes as both seek to fix a relationship damaged past year by a row over asylum seekers in which Trump lambasted Turnbull over a resettlement arrangement that he labelled a "dumb" deal.

"Thank you and Melania for your hospitality and friendship", Mr Turnbull said.

Australia's private sector funds have long invested in US infrastructure projects, providing almost $14 billion since 2010 in projects ranging from the Indiana Toll Road, to liquefied natural gas terminals and parking garages.

On trade, Turnbull must walk a fine line: Trump has signaled he is open to re-engaging in talks, but he wants any submission to reflect a political win or, in his words, "a substantially better deal".

The two leaders haven't always seen eye-to-eye over the first 13 months of Trump's presidency.

He said Australian and US companies are working together on energy production and infrastructure development.

Australia's system has been held up by many as an example of how gun controls in the United States should be tightened.

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Getting down to business, Trump said that the pair would discuss "trade deals, we are working on military and protection and all of the things that we would be discussing".

Australia has had no mass shootings since then.

President Donald Trump's softening opposition to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be up for discussion when he meets Turnbull at the White House on Friday.

"We're seeking to expand transparent and competitive global energy markets, cooperating on high-quality infrastructure investment in the United States and in the region - we've spent a lot of time talking about infrastructure, especially urban infrastructure", Turnbull told reporters. Canberra is Australia's capital.

"There is no closer friendship", Trump said.

The foreign leader was also asked about the Russian cyber attacks which pose a threat to both nations and he stressed the importance of the American-Australian economic relationship.

Turnbull appeared elated by the announcement, noting that the ship will be built by an Australian company in Mobile, Alabama.

Trump had campaigned against immigration, including by Muslims, and disliked the deal, which was arranged by Barack Obama.

Trump has not been to Australia yet as president. "Trump said he will let Kelly make that call, saying, "[Kelly's] going to do what's right for the country and I have no doubt he'll make the right decision".

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