Today, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, and the Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, held the second Ministerial meeting of the U.S.-Australia Strategic Commercial Dialogue (SCD). The meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan, and focused on discussing economic, foreign, and national security policy.
Both leaders emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Australia commercial relationship and the role of the SCD in coordinating and addressing global economic and commercial challenges. A significant part of their discussion focused on the U.S.-Australia Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact. This initiative, agreed upon earlier this month by Prime Minister Albanese and President Biden, seeks to promote a clean energy transition and secure the supply of critical minerals.
One of the key aspects of the meeting was the mutual priority of demonstrating progress under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). The Minister and Secretary expressed their commitment to the IPEF and are scheduled to meet again on May 27 to discuss this further.
In a joint statement released after the meeting, both the Secretary and the Minister reaffirmed their commitment to an open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. The pair also stated that they are keen to unlock green trade and investment to support the clean energy transition and strengthen anti-corruption efforts in the region.
A key development from the meeting is the establishment of an Australia-U.S. Taskforce on Critical Minerals. This taskforce aims to deepen cooperation on securing the supply of these vital inputs for the clean energy transition. The Secretary and Minister agreed to convene Australian and U.S. companies from across the critical minerals supply chain later in 2023.
The topic of economic security also came up during the discussions. The leaders agreed to continue working on economic security measures and building economic resilience. They also shared concerns about the impact of coercive trade and economic measures on workers and businesses. The duo committed to working bilaterally and with other partners to counter such measures against the private sector.
The Strategic Commercial Dialogue is slated to continue in 2024, with the third meeting to be held in Australia. The event is seen as a critical step towards strengthening the economic and strategic ties between the United States and Australia.
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