aside Why Has Australia Been Omitted As A Target By President Trump’s Tariffs?/ Pine Gap

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PM TURNBULL/ PRESIDENT TRUMP

It has become apparent that the republican President Donald J Trump’s administration is hot to Impose tariffs on imports with all of the US neighboring countries and our allies. But Inquiring minds like mine, want to know why Australia has been spared from President Trump’s ire when it comes to tariffs on aluminum imports (10%) and steel imports (25%).

A comment from one of my followers, Gary J. prompted me to do some research on this topic.

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There are at least 6 possible reasons:

1.) In 2014, 28 Australians, some being soldiers were among the 283 passengers killed in a flight traveling en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur when it was hit by a Russian Buk missile as it was flying over Ukraine.

As per a 9/ 29/2016 BBC News report, “Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling over conflict-hit Ukraine on 17 July 2014 when it disappeared from radar.”

“A total of 283 passengers, including 80 children, and 15 crew members were on board.

The Malaysia Airlines plane crashed after being hit by a Russian-made Buk missile over eastern Ukraine, a 15-month investigation by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) found in October 2015.”

Map showing where MH17 came down and approximate area of debris

“In September 2016, an international team of criminal investigators said evidence showed the Buk missile had been brought in from Russian territory and was fired from a field controlled by pro-Russian fighters.”

In 2016, the crash investigators were still trying to establish who the perpetrators were, to where they appealed for witnesses to come forward to assist the continuing investigation.

See: MH17 Ukraine plane crash: What we know – BBC News – BBC.com

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2.) USA policy in South China Sea requires more proactive response from Australia.

As per the 1/12/2017 Guardian report by Stuart Rollo, “Speaking before the Senate committee on foreign relations, Tillerson raised the issues of both construction in the South China Sea, and the unilateral declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone over a large swathe of the East China Sea. He stated that the US would have to send a strong message to China over this activity, that the construction in the South China Sea must stop, and that China’s access to the installations it has already constructed is to be disallowed.”

Image result for photos of the south china seas“The Chinese military construction in the South China Sea has proceeded at such a pace that it now constitutes a number of significant installations. Two years ago the news that China had placed mobile artillery pieces on one of its artificial islands reverberated across headlines around the world. Today China commands anti-aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-missile systems, surveillance and intelligence facilities, naval port facilities, and military aircraft housing, across a number of island installations, some of which have ballooned in size both approaching and beyond the US naval base at Pearl Harbour.”

“Unilateral Chinese expansion in the South China Sea should be discouraged through a variety of economic, diplomatic, and even military means, in the form of freedom of navigation exercises. But if Tillerson’s policy was to be implemented, nothing short of direct American military intervention would foreseeably prevent China from accessing these installations in what it considers its own sovereign territory. The mere prospect of this raises important questions regarding Australia’s role in regional security, and its alliance with the US.”

Link to article: Australia needs a new foreign policy. Tillerson’s remarks on China Seas /The Guardian/ 2017 ..

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3.) Marines are now based in Darwin NT (Australia)

As per the 1/12/2017 Guardian report by Stuart Rollo, “The US marine base in Darwin is an important component of this regional military build-up, and the implications it holds for Australian freedom of action should the US decide to militarily intervene in the South China Sea are troubling. The Marine Air-Ground Task Force stationed there specializes in the exact amphibious operations and integration with air assets which would be necessary to enforce the kind of intervention that Tillerson has called for. ”

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PINE GAP

4.) On August 19, 2017, Ryan Gallagher of the Intercept with ABC penned the following report,  “The US Spy Hub In The Heart Of Australia”

Excerpts:

“A SHORT DRIVE south of Alice Springs, the second largest population center in Australia’s Northern Territory, there is a high-security compound, code-named “RAINFALL.” The remote base, in the heart of the country’s barren outback, is one of the most important covert surveillance sites in the eastern hemisphere.”

“Hundreds of Australian and American employees come and go every day from Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, as the base is formally known. The official “cover story,” as outlined in a secret U.S. intelligence document, is to “support the national security of both the U.S. and Australia. The [facility] contributes to verifying arms control and disarmament agreements and monitoring military developments.” But, at best, that is an economical version of the truth. Pine Gap has a far broader mission — and more powerful capabilities — than the Australian or American governments have ever publicly acknowledged.”

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“An investigation, published Saturday by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in collaboration with The Intercept, punctures the wall of secrecy surrounding Pine Gap, revealing for the first time a wide range of details about its function.”

“The base is an important ground station from which U.S. spy satellites are controlled and communications are monitored across several continents, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept from the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.”

“Together with the NSA’s Menwith Hill base in England, Pine Gap has in recent years been used as a command post for two missions. The first, named M7600, involved at least two spy satellites and was said in a secret 2005 document to provide “continuous coverage of the majority of the Eurasian landmass and Africa.” This initiative was later upgraded as part of a second mission, named M8300, which involved “a four satellite constellation” and covered the former Soviet Union, China, South Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and territories in the Atlantic Ocean.”

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PINE GAP

“The satellites are described as being “geosynchronous,” which means they are likely positioned high in orbit at more than 20,000 miles above the earth’s surface. They are equipped with powerful surveillance technology used to monitor wireless communications on the ground, such as those sent and received by cellphones, radios, and satellite uplinks. They gather “strategic and tactical military, scientific, political, and economic communications signals,” according to the documents, and also keep tabs on missile or weapons tests in targeted countries, sweep up intelligence from foreign military data systems, and provide surveillance support to U.S. forces.”

Link to article: THE U.S. SPY HUB IN THE HEART OF AUSTRALIA

Picture of long and skinny Raytheon GBU-53/B small diameter bomb

5.) Over the past few years, Australia’s Military Defense Force has invested more then $10 billion dollars on military equipment from the USA.

As per a 12/28/ 2017 Australia Broadcasting News report by Andrew Greene, “According to the ANAO, Australia’s total spending on US Foreign Military Sales was $10.3 billion over the four-year reporting period, with just over $500 million of that going to IT, broadcasting and telecommunication contracts, or engineering, research and technology-based services contracts.”

Link to report: Australian Defence Force spends over $10 billion on US arms

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TRUMP/ TURNBULL
6.) The US President Donald Trump and the Australian PM Malcolm Turnball are on the same page when it comes to their anti-immigration policies.
As per The 4/24/18 Australian report by Dennis Shananahan, “Malcolm Turnbull has delivered an impassioned defense in Germany of Australia’s tough border protection policies, declaring it is “absolutely essential” that governments protect their sovereign borders to gain the trust of the public to allow immigration and have a successful multicultural society.”

Link to report: Malcolm Turnbull defends tough border protection policies

11 comments

  1. Gday mate, outstanding research, without bias or committing to particular points of view. It does present an image of USA’s little mate downunder does it not. With regards China’s nine dash line policy, formed shortly after the long march, I find it incredible that world media refer to the “South China sea” which is in fact the ultimate goal of said policy. Anyway, I am drinking wine and waiting for a knock on my door. Oh, nearly forgot, the 100 year anniversary of the long march is 2047, and I think you will find this is the perfect time for China to have attained sovereignty in that area. China really plans long term politically, while western countries chop and change with tides (no pun intended) and whilst our Generals would be well aware of such our politico’s are trying to hang onto power for such brief periods that decisions, about actions to take are rather reactive. Hugs.

    • Dear Gary J,

      Thanks for prompting me to do some research. But now I am going to have to blog on your reference to China’s nine dash line policy, formed shortly after the long march.

      China is the big elephant in the room to where our US president is finally figuring this out. He even put out feelers about signing up late to TPP but countries like Australia are not biting.

      I do worry about Pine Gap being located in Australia being a security risk for you all down under.

      Hugs Mate, Gronda

      • Dear Gronda, may I refer you to: Pacific (the ocean of the future) by Simon Winchester. Pub: Harper Collins. 2015. In particular Chapter 10. “of Masters and Commanders. This is an outstanding look by a respected academic with regards the area to the south of the South China sea. The background and research are impeccable. Hugs.

  2. This is an excellent post. The world is a big chess game of the big power houses (countries). We are the peons and sometimes the pawns. And these leaders can certainly be pawns too. I find it scary but fascinating.

    • Dear MaryPlumbago,

      You are right on point. The world is a big chess game to where President Trump who would never survive the first few moves on a chess board, is maneuvering on all these issues where he is totally unawares of the rules. He thinks he is smart enough to learn and play this chess board with no training, coaching etc.

      He is a walking disaster, a time bomb.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. You make a good case for the possibilities of why Dump Truck is not placing new tariffs on Australia, but how much trade is being done between the USA and Australia in the first place? Besides Teddy Bears (I jest) and movie stars, I don’t think Australia has that much that the US really wants (right now). But should that change in the Trumpian era, expect those tariffs to be even higher than the ones he has placed on his other allies.

    • Dear rawgod, Australia has very much Gold, Iron ore, LNG, Diamonds. Also, in the future, it has the area to be a bread basket for many, cattle, sheep and crops. Also, in the future, Australia has the potential to be a Solar Power generator capable of providing light and power to a whole region. In the future, it will not matter what the USA really wants, what will matter is how may a resource rich country best help itself and its neighbours. Peace and love to you and yours.

      • Hi gj,
        Obviously Australia has a lot to offer the world, though a lot of what you list is more desirable to industry or industry owners. What is available for plain folk is potential, but will probably be gretly needed in the future.
        I see a lot of similarities between our sister nations, Australia and Canada. Except our bread basket is already developed, as are our ranchers and other meat producers. And the US is already raping us of our hydroelectric power and our cool, clean freshwater.
        Protect, what you have. I mean share it, yes, but do not give it away to more powerful countries for less than Australians have to pay for it. That is what the US is doing to us, buying our resources dirt cheap.Maybe I should suggest to Trudeau to turn off the taps and electrical switches, and see how Deceiving Thief likes them apples, lol.

  4. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    While looking at the trade between our nation and Australia, it appears that we might have a bit of monetary positive in our trade with them, so that could be part of the thought process of King Donnie, along with a rumor recently that he wanted to build a casino there. I did however notice that the mining of gold, has increased tremendously recently, and is it possible that some members of the administration are looking at that resource with interest?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-08/trade-balance-rebounds-in-january-2018/9526766

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      You are right on! It’s not as if President Trump could get away with complaining about how Australia has been taking advantage of the US like he has been doing with other countries.

      Thanks for the reference. It does look like the gold exports have contributed towards better trade numbers for Australia.

      Hugs, Gronda

  5. Dear Rawgod,

    The truth is just the opposite. Australia is an important trading partner with the USA because of the 2005 Australia – United States Fair Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

    As per a 4/2/17 Forbes article, According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT), the United States is Australia’s second-largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, worth $70.2 billion, as of 2015.

    Nonetheless, Australia imports more than double the amount from the U.S. and is 15th on the list of U.S. principle export destinations.

    This year 2018 has been a better year for Australian exports because of its success with gold mining and then the exporting of gold. See the reference by Crustyolemothman.

    Hugs, Gronda

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