Kit called into the show to ask about foreign minister Julie Bishop’s upcoming visit to the USA – is she really going to Washington just to smooth the tension between Australia and the US after Donald Trump’s “worst call ever” fiasco? Why does Australia want to be so close to the USA in their current state?
Our Political smart guy Barrie Cassidy from ABC Insiders joined us on the show to share his thoughts.
Barrie mentioned that just tonight, the UK parliament voted to reject a state visit from Trump, and while it’s a non binding vote, its the sort of message that our parliament would never send, whether labour or the coalition was in power. It just turns out that we’re more subservient than the brits.
Julie bishop isn’t going to see the president while she’s in Washington, but she is seeing Vice President Mike Pence as well as the secretary of state, and Barrie thinks that the trip really will be a smoothing out exercise, as Kit suggested.
Barrie speculates that Bishop will try and keep the settlement of our refugees on the table, and that the americans will ask for extra troops for Iraq and Syria, perhaps leading to some sort of tradeoff.
Is there any way that all this effort to smooth things over could be seen as a bad thing? As the world is seeing Trump as the face of evil, could we be perceived in the same light for being so saddled up with the US?
Barrie had this to say when Kit asked if we’re actually just ‘frenemies’ with the USA.
We take the view that we’re small and we need america, and so it seems as if it doesn’t matter what happens. The intention is just to ride this out in the hope that Donald Trump will come and go and our relationship with America won’t be disturbed, that’s the attitude that we take at the moment.
Hear our full chat with Barrie here: