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Benjamin Zala, ‘Issues in Australian Foreign Policy: January to June 2017’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 63(4) 2017: 610-23.
The central concern of the Australian government in relation to foreign policy in the first half of 2017 was to find a way of adjusting to the new Donald J. Trump administration in the United States. From the administration’s early withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to the awkward early interactions between the leadership of the two countries, to Washington’s hawkish position on the North Korean nuclear crisis, the ‘Trump effect’ on Australian foreign policy was almost all-consuming. This period presented policymakers in Australia with a new challenge in alliance management never before encountered since the signing of the ANZUS Treaty in 1951.
The effect of this near-total focus on the alliance was that the coverage and scrutiny of other important trends and events struggled to find prominence in public debate. Such issues included developments in relation to China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region and within Australia, historic changes in the global nuclear order, and new questions raised about Australia’s role in its ‘near abroad’ of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.