News that US President Donald Trump has imposed new metal tariffs on Europe, Canada and Mexico is further proof Australia’s ‘special relationship’ with the US is a security blanket, not a strategy.
“Trump’s unpredictable and inexplicable lurching from one trade war to the next shows Australia can’t insulate itself from his impulses by pretending everything is normal,” Greens trade spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Trump is treating his allies and his enemies with equal venom. We’re in a dangerous time, and we’re connected to the hip to a dangerous leader.
“Australia could be next. And when that happens, will our allies in Europe, Mexico and Canada display the sort of non-response Malcolm Turnbull has offered them so far?
"Australian steel plays a big part in regional economies like Whyalla, and it underpins a flexible supply chain for major construction and infrastructure projects around the country. A sudden change in the winds of Trump's trade position would leave South Australians vulnerable.
“Malcolm Turnbull seems determined to pretend our relationship is with the country, not its leadership. But the US President is the man tweeting his way into trade wars, not the country.
“And if our friendship with the country relies on our genuflecting to its President, then it is a mockery of a friendship to begin with.
“If the Australia-US relationship is needed stronger than any one leader, Malcolm Turnbull should be prepared to distance himself from Donald Trump.
“Nobody wins in a trade war. Nobody knows who Trump’s next target will be. Most likely, he doesn’t know himself."