Today, the United States Studies Centre (USSC) releases Red Book/Blue Book: An Australian guide to the next US administration, an in-depth handbook to help Australia traverse the policy terrain post-US election. While the trajectories of the United States diverge markedly under either a second Trump administration or with a Biden presidency, strategic competition with China remains the single most important foreign policy challenge confronting the US, and the one with the most implications for Australia.

“Both sides of US politics acknowledge that the magnitude and breadth of the China challenge can only be effectively met in partnership with allies,” says USSC CEO Professor Simon Jackman, “but this assessment would play a more foundational role in a Biden administration.”

The report is a compilation of analysis from thirteen different US politics, foreign policy, defence and economics experts, which forms a comprehensive policy roadmap for Australians to the incoming administration. Importantly, it includes strategic recommendations on how to proceed under either outcome.

Professor Jackman adds, “Other countries that have felt ‘out in the cold’ in Trump’s Washington will compete with Australia for influence with a Biden administration. 
Australia’s alliance credentials and our ’frontline', status with respect to China are tremendous assets here.”

All experts featured in the report are available for interviews or briefings. To book an interview or briefing please contact:

Media are welcome to film the webinar launch of Red Book/Blue Book on Thursday, 29 October at 10am AEDT.

Contents snapshot

US power and foreign policy | the cementing of broad, multi-dimensional competition with China as the cornerstone of US strategy under the Trump administration; points of continuity and divergence in Indo-Pacific policy between a second Trump or Biden administration; longer-term pressures on US defence budgets; implications for the development of collective strategy among US allies and partners in the region; the resulting evolution of the US-Australia alliance as regionally.

  • Ashley Townshend on US defence strategy
  • John Lee with an Australian view of US policy toward China
  • Charles Edel with an American view of US policy toward China
  • Gorana Grgic and Jared Mondschein on Europe and the Middle East

Global issues | containing COVID-19, especially regarding development and distribution of a vaccine; climate change and its prominence in a Biden administration; the on-going fusion of trade, investment and industrial policy with national security.

  • Adam Kamradt-Scott on COVID-19
  • Simon Jackman and Jared Mondschein on climate change

​​Economics | the risks of protectionism and tariffs for Australia under a second Trump term; divergent US views on pathways to economic recovery.

  • Stephen Kirchner on trade policy
  • David Uren on economic policy

US politics and governance | the different ways to navigate Washington under each administration to promote Australian objectives, as well as who may be key players in a prospective Biden administration.

  • Bruce Wolpe on navigating Congress
  • Kim Hoggard on White House leadership

Future trends | the acceleration of technological competition and the risks and opportunities for Australia; an increase in disinformation and conspiracy theories; regulation of Big Tech.

  • Brendan Thomas-Noone on technology competition
  • Elliott Brennan on conspiracy theories


Media enquiries

Taylor Mellor
T 02 9114 2622