Today, the United States Studies Centre (USSC) and Perth USAsia Centre have released their inaugural annual report: State of the United States: An evolving alliance agenda.
The flagship report explores critical questions about the US-Australia relationship in the post-Trump era, with an emphasis on areas of overlap such as countering Chinese coercion and managing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as areas of tension, including climate change and right-wing domestic extremism.
“The relationship between Australia and the US continues to transform rapidly, building on the long-standing defence alliance and intelligence partnership to now encompass tools of economic statecraft, strategic investments in frontier technologies, health security and a battle for hearts and minds at home and in the region,” USSC CEO Professor Simon Jackman says.
“Our polling shows the partisan polarisation is greater than ever in the United States: 72 per cent of Biden voters say the US should reward countries who do more to stop climate change and impose costs on those that do not compared to only 18 per cent of Trump voters. The magnitude of the ‘China challenge’, however, is accepted across party lines with 73 per cent of US respondents saying they would pay US$500 more for a phone that is 'not made in China'," he continues.
Detailing recommendations tailored to the unique needs of the US-Australia relationship, the report draws upon experts from both centres to tackle critical issues. In particular, it highlights key policies and players in the Biden administration as well as what they mean for Australia.
Jackman continues, “There’s a narrative that with Biden, Australia will feel pressure from the US on climate change but, in fact, there is little substantive, policy daylight between the countries on this issue. The Democratic rank-and-file clearly see global action on climate change as their most important foreign policy goal. But Biden Administration officials are extremely unlikely to have any friction with Australia on climate get in the way of working with allies on standing up to China. As the historic first meeting of the Quad leaders has shown, their stressing unity of purpose and vision on grand, geo-strategic challenges is the first order of business for the Biden team with long-standing allies like Australia."
Click here to read the State of the United States report.
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The report outlines 41 policy recommendations to answer four key questions:
- How does the US domestic political landscape enable or constrain increased US presence and attentiveness to the Indo-Pacific?
- How should the United States and Australia advance prosperity and resilience?
- How should the United States and Australia bolster collective deterrence and defence?
- How should the United States and Australia strengthen the economic and technological foundations of the allied and partner network?