Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has used speech in the United States to talk up the Australian-US military alliance and its ability “to deter our adversaries”.
Delivering the keynote speech at the G’Day USA Australia-US Dialogue on Defence Industries, Mr Pyne said he supported Mr Trump’s repeated calls for allies to pay their own way militarily rather than rely on the US.
“Strengthening the industrial alliance between our two countries will ensure our mutual prosperity and protect our national interests as we navigate an increasingly uncertain 21st century together,” Mr Pyne told the event.
“President Trump is right to expect that the friends and allies of the United States play their part in contributing to international peace and security.
“Australia is resolute in its determination to meet our alliance commitments, increasing our defence budget to two per cent of Gross Domestic Product by 2020-21.”
The event, held in Washington DC on Thursday, came on the eve of US President Donald Trump’s crucial meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate.
Mr Trump has announced he will dramatically increase US military spending and the Australian defence industry is keen to grab a piece of the business.
Mr Pyne outlined the important role Australian innovation and companies were already providing the US military.
“Australian industry is capable,” Mr Pyne said. “Australian industry is ready.
“Australian industries want to do more – and we, as a government, will do everything we can to support the sector as it seeks to meet this goal.”
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald