In Wake of Tense Trump Call, Pence Aims to Soothe Australia

Fullilove says Pence's role is to be an "instrument of reassurance" for allies like Australia and Japan in terms of Trump's intentions for USA trade relations as well as the dilemmas posed by North Korea and the war in Syria.

Importantly, Mr Pence projects a polite Midwestern humility and is expected to turn on the charm and be the peacemaker when he meets Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

"Australia has certain restrictions on things like pork, the USA has other restrictions on certain agricultural imports from Australia", Mr Carouso said.

On Monday, he will fly to Hawaii to conclude his ten-day official tour of the Asia-Pacific.

"The perception that President Trump and his team are anti-Islam is widespread in Indonesia, as it is in most places in the Muslim world", Gregory Poling, a Southeast Asia expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies, told DW. "Australia has certain restrictions on things like pork, the US has other restrictions on certain agricultural imports from Australia", Carouso said.

Pence also met with members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), one of the signature initiatives within the people-to-people dimension of U.S. -Southeast Asia relations under the Obama administration.

As Vice President Mike Pence heads to Australia on Friday on the next leg of his Asia-Pacific tour, a White House foreign policy adviser on the trip downplayed President Donald Trump's early feud with the Australian Prime Minister.

Fullilove believes the fallout from that call gives Australia's political leaders a bit of leverage when Pence arrives to make peace. "That would amount to a retreat from the "comprehensive" part of the Comprehensive Partnership the two countries inked in 2010". "The United States is proud to partner with Indonesia".

That reversal only deepened the belief, held by some Australian officials, that the country's interests would be best served by rebalancing toward China, a vast market on its doorstep.

Arrmanatha revealed that the memoranda of understanding are worth US$10 billion.

Trump's decision to leave TPP "creates a vacuum that China is happy to try to fill", Searight said.

Reports also indicate that talks will tackle into trade and how companies are taxed between Australia and the US. He paved the way for a bigger US military presence in the Philippines, where American bases were shuttered 25 years ago.

The South China Sea, where China's territorial claims, land reclamation and construction have drawn criticism from its neighbors and the USA, is also likely to factor in talks between Pence and Turnbull. Given Australia's loyalty to both the USA and China, the country has tried to avoid taking sides in the disputes.

  • Arturo Norris