What’s at stake for US-Australia-Asia relations under President Trump?



2 May 2017


King & Wood Mallesons, Governor Phillip Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000


Public event

The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s administration created uncertainty about the trajectory of US foreign policy towards Asia and Australia. While there was a good deal of continuity in America’s principal security guarantees towards Japan, South Korea and Australia, there were also significant changes to Asia policy.

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership cancelled and the ‘rebalance to Asia’ called off, what can we expect from the new administration in the Asia-Pacific? And how should Australia and its leaders react? Trump has already spurred a reinvigorated debate in Australia about the US alliance and our place in the region, making public discussion of US-Asia-Australia relations more important than ever.

This event entailed a broad-ranging conversation about US Asia policy and Australia-US relations with Ambassador David B. Shear and other distinguished local and international experts.

What’s at stake for US-Australia-Asia relations under President Trump?


  • Ambassador David B. Shear
    Ambassador David B. Shear
    Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

    Ambassador David B. Shear served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from September 2014 to June 2016, and performed the duties of Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from June 2016 to January 2017. During this period he oversaw the strategic aspects of President Barack Obama’s “rebalance to Asia” alongside Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter.

  • James Brown
    James Brown
    CEO, Space Industry Association of Australia

    James Brown is CEO of the Space Industry Association of Australia. He was previously a Non-Resident Fellow at the United States Studies Centre.

  • Dr Zack Cooper
    Dr Zack Cooper
    Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

    Zack Cooper is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies US strategy and alliances in Asia. Zack is also co-director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown and Princeton Universities, and a partner at Armitage International.

  • Julie B. Sheetz
    Global Force Planner, Office of the Secretary of Defense

    Julie Sheetz is a Global Force Planner in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, focusing on United States force posture in the Asia-Pacific, including agreements with allies and partners, the footprint for US forces in the region, and the combination of force structure – in personnel and capabilities – stationed in this critical area.

  • Ashley Townshend
    Ashley Townshend
    Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre

    Ashley Townshend is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and Senior Fellow for Indo-Pacific Security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founding co-chair of the annual US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and was the Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre from June 2017 to June 2022.