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US Election Response - Will Joe Biden Leave Australia Out in the Rain?

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Joe Biden's U-turn on climate policy could hit Australia hard. The country lives mainly from the export of coal.

Many conservative politicians in Australia have little joy in Joe Biden's election victory in the United States. Climate policy could become a point of contention. Australia will go its own way, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison in an initial response to the election.

"Under President Donald Trump, Australia and the United States had a lot in common, a similar ideology," says Australia correspondent Urs Wolderlin. These are: economy and growth before the environment. In international forums - the Paris Agreement, for example - Australia often took a stand in a duet with the Trump administration.

Biden now wants to make climate protection a priority. He has already announced that he wants to rejoin the Paris climate agreement. Walterlin does not believe that Australia can hold on to its current climate policy under these circumstances. Because Australia not only has the highest per capita climate emissions in the western world. "With 50 billion US dollars a year, the country is also the largest coal exporter in the world."

The correspondent is convinced that Australia's market will collapse in the long term. And then Australia has a real problem.

In conflict with Biden's trade policy

But climate policy is not the only construction site. Another is US trade policy - especially those with China. Because China is Australia's largest trading partner. What Biden's election means for Australia in this regard is difficult to assess, according to Wälterlin.

"Australia is a kind of governor of Washington in this region of the world," he says. That is why there have been major problems with China in the past few months. «Grain, meat and minerals are affected by trade boycotts. The reason for this is Australia's request to find the source of the coronavirus. "

This request was made at Trump's insistence, it is said. “As far as Biden is concerned, I'm not sure that he will be as aggressive against China as Trump. He seems to be a little more conciliatory and seeking consensus. " That could mean that Australia is left standing in the rain while Beijing and Washington get closer again, said Wolderlin.

Trump confidante in the government

Former Australian Treasury Secretary and Ambassador to Washington, Joe Hockey, joined Trump's allegations of electoral fraud. However, he is an exception, says the Canberra-based correspondent. “In my opinion, personal interests play a role. Hockey is a very close confidante of Trump. He plays golf with him and has now, after he is no longer an ambassador, opened a private consulting firm in Washington. "

With his support for Trump's allegations, he hopes for orders from the Republican Party. "In general, people here believe in the quality of the electoral system in America and also in the election result," says Wälterlin.

There are of course exceptions: "Fantastics in the right-wing conservative Murdoch media, for example, who still believe in a victory for their hero, just as certain commentators do in the USA."

Cultural proximity of the two countries

The bottom line is that the relationship between the USA and Australia will develop well under Biden, believes Wolderlin. "It just has to be." The USA is an important, strategic partner. “When it comes to defense, America is practically Australia's protecting power. In addition: there is also a close cultural proximity. Americans and Australians are very similar. Both are pioneering countries with correspondingly tough behavior. "

And the lifestyle is also very similar. "It's a deep bond." This is so deep that former Prime Minister John Howard once said that Australia was "America's deputy in the Pacific".

SRF 4 News, November 12, 2020, 6:40 a.m.; srf / eglc; widb

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  • Comment from Peter Beutler (Peter Beutler)
    Australia will roast itself with the coal it can no longer sell, with the racism that is still rampant. Many Australians look longingly to New Zealand, where the left-wing prime minister clinched an unprecedented victory shortly before the US election. Stability, economically, politically and socially, multiculturalism. No morally reprehensible neglect like in Australia, which will also be governed on the left in 2 years' time.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Ernst von Allmen (MEVA)
    Not only will Australia suffer from the Biden government, the Swiss financial center will also come under pressure from the Biden government. Just like among the people, Democrats, US governments
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Claudio Hammer (MCHammer)
    The Aussies are not really capable of learning. After the devastating fires in 2019/20, there will be "La Nina" again for a change in 2020/21 and that simply means the opposite: torrential floods in some areas at least.
    El Nino and La Nina are natural phenomena, but there are increasing signs that anthropogenic climate change will intensify this significantly in the future.
    2020/21 could be a particularly intense La Nina year
    Agree agree to the comment

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