U.S. Relations With Australia

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
February 25, 2016

More information about Australia is available on the Australia Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


Australia is a vital ally and partner of the United States. The United States and Australia maintain a robust relationship underpinned by shared democratic values, common interests, and cultural affinities. Economic, academic, and people-to-people ties are vibrant and strong. The two countries marked the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2015.

Defense ties and cooperation are exceptionally close, and Australian forces have fought together with the United States military in every significant conflict since World War I. The ANZUS security treaty, concluded in 1951, serves as the foundation of defense and security cooperation between the countries. The Treaty, which enjoys broad bipartisan support in Australia as its pre-eminent formal security treaty alliance, was invoked for the first time—by Australia—in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The two countries signed the U.S.-Australia Force Posture Agreement at the annual Australia-United States Ministerial consultations (AUSMIN) in August 2014, paving the way for even closer defense and security cooperation, and are now working together to advance force posture initiatives under the Agreement. In October 2015 our defense agencies signed a Joint Statement on Defense Cooperation to serve as a guide for future cooperation.

The U.S.-Australia alliance is an anchor for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world. The United States and Australia share an interest in maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea, including in the South China Sea. The United States and Australia also work closely in Afghanistan and Iraq, and cooperate closely on efforts to degrade and defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and address the challenges of foreign terrorist fighters and violent extremism. The United States and Australia attach high priority to controlling and eventually eliminating chemical weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, and anti-personnel landmines. In addition to AUSMIN consultations, Australia and the United States engage in a trilateral security dialogue with Japan .

The United States and Australia have signed tax and defense trade cooperation treaties, as well as agreements on science and technology, emergency management cooperation, and social security. They also have concluded a mutual legal assistance treaty to enhance bilateral cooperation on legal and counter-narcotics issues. In addition, a number of U.S. institutions conduct cooperative scientific activities in Australia. Our two countries cooperate on global environmental issues such as climate change and preserving marine environments. The United States and Australia are responding to the Zika virus epidemic worldwide, as well as supporting the Global Health Security Agenda to accelerate measureable progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.

U.S. Assistance to Australia

The United States provides no development assistance to Australia.

Bilateral Economic Relations

U.S. exports to Australia include machinery, vehicles, optic and medical instruments, aircraft, and agricultural products. U.S. imports from Australia include precious stones/metals, agricultural products, and optic and medical instruments. The United States is by far the largest foreign investor in Australia, accounting for over a quarter of its foreign investment. The 2005 Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement has nearly doubled our goods trade and increased our services trade by more than 122 percent.

The two countries share a commitment to liberalizing global trade, and work closely in the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The United States and Australia concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations to establish a trade agreement between 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific. As founding members of the Equal Futures Partnership, both countries collaborate to expand economic opportunities for women and increase women’s participation in leadership positions in politics, civic society, and economic life.

Australia's Membership in International Organizations

Australia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, G-20, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Trade Organization. Australia is a Partner for Cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an Enhanced Partner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and a member of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Australia is John Berry; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Australia maintains an embassy in the United States at 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-797-3000).

More information about Australia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Australia Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Australia Page
U.S. Embassy: Australia
History of U.S. Relations With Australia
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information