POLITICS

Malcolm Turnbull Readies For 'The Deal' As He Takes A Trump Call

The PM presses Australia's case as he congratulates the President-elect.

10/11/2016 1:47 PM AEDT | Updated 10/11/2016 2:53 PM AEDT
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
The Prime Minister's office
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the phone to President Elect Donald Trump

CANBERRA -- The Trump/Turnbull relationship is now underway, with the two men having a "very warm and constructive and practical discussion" in the wake of the stunning result in the U.S. presidential election.

After announcing the Turnbull Government had ratified the Paris climate change agreement, a global agreement President Elect Trump has promised to "rip up", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke of his "frank" 15-minute discussion with the U.S. winner.

"We could not have had a warmer discussion," Turnbull told reporters in Canberra. "It was very frank, a discussion about a range of important strategic issues and priorities."

The pair discussed regional security and trade during the call.

"Mr Trump is a deal maker. He is a businessman, a deal maker and he will, I have no doubt, view the world in a very practical and pragmatic way."

Despite concerns that Trump's protectionist and isolationist policies may cause instability in the Asia/Pacific region and adversely affect the U.S./Australia alliance, Turnbull said the first signs from Trump are positive.

"We absolutely agreed on the vital importance of our strong alliance," he said.

"Mr Trump recognises the solidarity that Australia has shown the United States and the United States has shown Australia over 98 years, during which we have fought side-by-side with the United States in every major conflict. Mr Trump recognises that."

Trade is a point of immediate difference.

It is widely expected the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the centrepiece of Barack Obama's pivot to Asia, is dead due to Trump's solid anti-trade position.

Turnbull said he explained the Australian Government's wish that the TPP be ratified. The response?

"I don't want to quote Mr Trump," Turnbull said.

"We agreed that we could refer to the fact that we had had the discussion, but I think his views on that treaty are well-known."

So far then, no deal. The Prime Minister also dismissed concerns that president elect does not take climate change seriously -- believing it is a Chinese hoax.

Trump has promised to "rip up" the Paris agreement. This pleases Government MP Craig Kelly, who described the agreement as "cactus".



The Prime Minister has pointed out the global agreement takes four years to withdraw.

Turnbull also promised Australia is not going to back out of the agreement, whatever the United States does.

"This is a global agreement," the Prime Minister said. "When Australia makes a commitment to a global agreement, we follow through and that is exactly what we are doing."

More On This Topic

Advertisement
Advertisement