Statement on U.S. Congressional Approval of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement

J. Thomas Schieffer
U.S. Ambassador to Australia

July 16, 2004

Today is an incredible moment in the history of relations between the United States and Australia. With huge majorities in both houses of both parties, the United States Congress has reaffirmed the deep affection and appreciation America holds for Australia. On matters of security and intelligence we have stood together for decades in the defense of freedom and justice around the world. Now with this vote the Congress has overwhelmingly joined the President in saying that America is prepared to enter a new phase in our relationship - a phase that will knit our two economies together in such a way that each will grow stronger.

If the Free Trade Agreement that has been negotiated between our two governments and ratified now by the United States Congress is ultimately approved in Australia, both our peoples will be able to look back on this time with the same pride of accomplishment that our forbearers must have felt when the ANZUS Treaty was signed fifty three years ago.

This is a great day for us all.