JOURNALIST: And now from Canberra, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Good evening Ms Bishop. Pauline Hanson is jumping for joy tonight, I’m assuming you’re not?
JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government is ready and well prepared to work with whomever the American people in their wisdom have chosen as their President. And while counting continues and neither side has either conceded or claimed victory, it would appear that Donald Trump is most likely to become the 45th President of the United States. It is incumbent on us to work very closely, to engage closely, with the new Administration and this is precisely what we’ll do. The United States is our largest foreign direct investor, our second largest trading partner, our security guarantor and ally. It’s in our interests for the Australian Government to work as closely and constructively and productively with the new President and the new Administration.
JOURNALIST: It is in our interest but are we not now standing on very rocky ground between America and China when it comes to trade?
JULIE BISHOP: Australia will continue to promote free trade – it is in the interest of our country and our region. We will continue to work with the Obama Administration that will continue to govern until midday on the 20 January next year to see if the United States will ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership Free Trade agreement because that’s in our interests. We will continue to work with the US Administration as it currently stands and with the new Administration to promote our economic and security interests.
JOURNALIST: Mr Trump has already rewritten the rules on politics and has promised to do the same for international relations and trade. How will you, how will the Australian Government handle that?
JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government and the relevant Ministers are already reaching out to the Clinton Team and of course the Trump Team and we are developing working relationships. Once the President-elect claims victory then our Prime Minister will of course contact the President-elect and start the engagement process. We will do it as quickly as possible because it’s in our interests to do so and much depends upon it. The Australian Government is ready, prepared, and about to embark on a new relationship with a new Administration.
JOURNALIST: Yes and very interesting days ahead. Ms Bishop, we thank you for your time.
JULIE BISHOP: Thank you.
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