Joe Biden

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia and an Exchange With Reporters in Hiroshima, Japan

May 20, 2023

President Biden. Well, Mr. Prime Minister, it's wonderful to see you. I'm sorry this meeting is not taking place in your country, Australia. And I deeply appreciate the flexibility in meeting me here at the G-7 meeting.

And that's because we've got a lot to discuss. Together, we've delivered historic—a historic year, the both of us. And it's between our—allegiance between Australia and the United States.

In March, in San Diego, we stood together. Prime Minister Sunak was also here, you—I might add—[laughter]—to announce the generational commitment to a shared security through our AUKUS trilateral partnership.

Australia and the United States have stood together to defend our shared domestic values, including supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia's brutal aggression. And together, we've expanded our cooperation across a range of challenges, from space to emerging technologies, while advancing our shared vision to a free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific.

And we're launching a new joint initiative to accelerate a transition to clean energy, including by building more resilient critical mineral supply chains. This is a huge step, from our perspective, a huge step forward in our fight against the climate crisis. And I want to thank you for your strong leadership and your partnership in this challenge.

I'm looking forward to our conversation today and hosting you for a official state visit this year in Washington, DC.

And again, I truly apologize to you for having you to come here, rather than me being in Australia right now. But we have a little thing going on at home I've got to pay attention to. [Laughter]

So thank you very much. And the floor is yours, sir.

Prime Minister Albanese. Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. And certainly, I understand the circumstances that led us to hold the Sydney Quad meeting in Hiroshima later this evening, but also to catch up with our bilateral that we had scheduled for a few days' time.

We appreciate the alliance as our most important relationship. And today what we've done is add a new element to that alliance up front, very clearly, unequivocally: climate action. Because climate action, of course, is a national security issue.

And it is good that we've been able to show the nature of the Quad is that it's a pragmatic gathering, which is about outcomes. And we're getting those outcomes. I'm sure we'll be successful later today. But also, we've had important outcomes with the agreement that we've just signed: the statement of intent.

And I want to say that I appreciate very much the issue that I raised with you in San Diego has been progressed really—your support for Congress in showing that Australia is a domestic source under the Defense Production Act. That's really important.

I went to the U.K. recently for the coronation and went up to Barrow to look at the nuclear-powered subs that are being built there. And AUKUS is progressing between our three countries as well. And it's important that we progress pillar two as part of that implementation.

I'm saddened that you are unable to come down next week, but I understand the circumstances that you're dealing with, and I would have done exactly the same thing. All politics is local, as you and I both understand.

And I look forward at some time in the future to you visiting. You would always be a very welcome visitor in Australia, as you have been in the past as Vice President.

And I'm very much looking forward to the state visit as well, as is Jodie. We're really looking forward to visiting DC and to continuing to build on the relationship that just goes from strength to strength.

President Biden. And it has. And all politics may be local, but our friendship is permanent.

Prime Minister Albanese. Absolutely.

President Biden. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you all.

U.S. Public Debt Limit

Q. Mr. President, how concerned about—are you about the debt talks at home?

President Biden. Not at all.

[At this point, several reporters spoke at once.]

Q. Mr. President, can Australia trust China?

Q. Mr. President——

U.S. Public Debt Limit

Q. Are Republicans negotiating in good faith?

President Biden. This—this goes in stages.

Q. Mr. President——

President Biden. I've been in these negotiations before. It started off——

Q. Mr. President——

President Biden. Shush up, okay? Thank you. [Laughter]

The—it goes in stages. And what happens is, the first meetings weren't all that progressive. The second ones were. The third one was. And then, what happens is, they—the carriers go back to the principles and say, "This is what we're thinking about." And then, people put down new claims.

I still believe we'll be able to avoid a default and we'll get something decent done. Thank you.

Q. Can you get a deal by the end of the week?

Q. Mr. President, are you happy with the China statement from the G-7? Mr. President, are you happy with the China statement from the G-7?

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:26 p.m. at the Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Albanese referred to his partner Jodie Haydon.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia and an Exchange With Reporters in Hiroshima, Japan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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