JULIE BISHOP: I can think of few elections that are likely to have more impact on Australia’s economic and strategic interests than this race to the 45th Presidency of the United States. The United States is our largest foreign direct investor, our second largest trading partner, our security alliance partner, and is the guarantor and defender of the international rules based order that underpins our economic and security interests. So I am following this election very closely. The Australian Government is prepared for either a Clinton Presidency or a Trump Presidency. At this point, the first states are beginning to close their polls on the East Coast but the polling will go on until 5:00pm our time when the state of Alaska closes its polls. So we are watching closely and maintaining contact with our Post in Washington to gain any early indications of trends, but the Australian Government will work cooperatively and productively with whomever the people of the United States choose as their President.

JOURNALIST: Minister, you don’t call yourself a feminist but would you be a little bit chuffed if there was the first female US President elected?

JULIE BISHOP: Of course if Hillary Clinton is elected President she will be the first woman to hold this significant global position, and that would be a cause for celebration for women around the world, but at this stage it is too early to call the outcome of the election and should Donald Trump win the Presidency Australia would work very productively with a Trump Administration, as we would with a Clinton Administration.

JOURNALIST: How do you expect a female US Leader to change the dynamics on the international stage?<?p>

JULIE BISHOP: I’m not going to speculate at this point, given the polls are just closing in the United States, on the outcome of the US Presidential Election but I’ll certainly have more to say later today when we have a clearer indication of who is likely to be President.

JOURNALIST: Knowing both candidates foreign policies, what is Australia’s preference?

JULIE BISHOP: Well you wouldn’t expect me to state that surely? I have just said that the Australian Government will work with whomever the people of the United States in their wisdom choose as their President. The United States is a significant partner for us. As I said there is unlikely to be an election outside Australia of more importance to us than this Presidential Election, given that foreign policy shifts for example, in the United States would have an impact on Australia and the region. So we are monitoring this election very closely.

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