This week's edition of The 45th newsletter.
The Washington Post reports this morning that US naval commander Admiral Harry Harris is under consideration by the White House to be the next US ambassador to Australia.
Admiral Harris is the commander of US Pacific Command (PACOM) and is in the last year of his three-year tour. He is set to retire early next year, but could move from Hawaii to Canberra if the Trump administration appoints him as US ambassador. Three administration officials told The Washington Post that Harris is being discussed for that role, although no decision has been made.
Harris has visited Australia several times as PACOM commander. US officials told The Post that the Australian government is growing concerned that President Trump has yet to appoint an ambassador, more than seven months into the administration. It's one of many senior positions in the region that remain unfilled – including an ambassador to South Korea, assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, and assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Australia would welcome his appointment. "Admiral Harris is well known to us. We would welcome such an appointment but we haven't had any confirmation the decision has been made," she told Sky News. "He is a very capable, competent man who knows Australia well."
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