About the Author: Helen Reidy serves as Cultural and Education Specialist at the U.S. Consulate Sydney in Australia.
Surrounded by tractors, turbines, scanners and motorcycles -- all made in America -- Secretary Clinton spoke to a group of U.S. business executives at Australia's biggest port, the Port of Melbourne, in Victoria.
It's the Secretary's second day in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, and while summer may be just around the corner, the 30 mph winds and a threatening storm suggest otherwise. The Yarra River on which the Port is situated has white caps. It's 2:35 in the afternoon, and the Secretary has already had a full day -- five events so far and more to come.
Arriving at the Port, Secretary Clinton is greeted by Port of Melbourne Corporation Chairman, Bill Scales, who guides her through a display of U.S products from the Port's customers: a John Deere tractor, whose distinctive green is instantly recognizable across the farms of Australia; a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, as used by the Australian Federal Police; a Caterpillar Off-highway Truck, a familiar sight at mines and construction sites around the country; and a GE Portable Ultrasound monitor.
Inside the Port's education facility, with representatives from 20 U.S. companies, the Secretary tells the story of American exports and the U.S. economy: “[S]ales translate into jobs in communities across America -- jobs assembling the products we export, jobs selling them, and even jobs shipping them here to Australia.”
Secretary Clinton's remarks highlight the strength of American exports underpinning Australia-U.S. trade ties, “Australia and America are already very close allies, and have been for nearly sixty years. But ever since we signed the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement, our deepening economic ties have added an important new dimension to an already strong relationship.”
The Secretary's message also illustrates the mutual benefits everyone derives from trade -- including the 325,000 Australians employed by American companies. Beyond being one of America's largest trade partners, Australia is a strong advocate of trade liberalization throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The latest effort to lower trade barriers in the region is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement which Australia is helping to negotiate.
The event ends with Secretary Clinton shaking hands with the American business leaders and the room is energized. She leaves to attend to more State Department business -- six events down, five to go, today!
You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.