Because Australia cancelled a submarine deal. It’s complicated.
Yeah, this came out of left field for a lot of people. Firstly was the abrupt nature of unilaterally dumping Australia’s biggest defense contract in history and secondly giving France about 3.2 nanoseconds worth of advance notice. .The irony being the reason the project has blown out from 50 billion to 90 billion is because France was busy converting a nuclear submarine into a diesel design.
One aspect that I’m surprised about is that apparently AUKUS has been 18 months in the works. Colour me skeptical, but I find it very hard to believe the Trump Administration going for this. Especially when the Trump Administration’s stance on foreign policy throughout the entire Presidency was sh*tting on America’s traditional allies and writing love letters to fascist dictators like Kim Jong Un and Mohammed Bin Salman. This type of policy is way out of character. Coupled with the fact that in March of 2020, the US Administration was focused on Iran, post first impeachment shenanigans and admitting to reporters privately that they are lying to the American people about Covid I seriously doubt Trump paid something like this with much attention…I mean, for two thirds of Trump’s Presidency there wasn’t even a US Ambassador to Australia - we are that unimportant to him.
One thing worth pointing out is that China owns Darwin Port through a 90 year lease. I’m not sure how that will be compatible with this new treaty as it was formed ostensibly to curb China’s influence in South East Asia.
Nah, it’s basically an arms deal, and Trump was handing those out like candy, including the biggest one in our history.
As an American, color me surprised that a territory-level government would have the authority to negotiate with a foreign entity like this.
It’d be a bit like the Alaskan Government negotiating with Gazprom to operate on the Northern Slope.
Was there no Federal approval first?
The short version is the deal involved partisan BS. Darwin is in the Northern Territory, which is kinda similar to how Puerto Rico is situated in the US. It has less representation in Parliament than other states and has less freedom on how to consolidate debt. The Federal Government is run by a different party than the Northern Territory so it wasn’t going to do much to help the NT out of its financial troubles, which to be clear were entirely of their making. So the deal was made in desperation and it went through simply because nobody thought anything about it at the time. It was very much one of those, “We didn’t think something like this would ever happen so we never legislated against the possibility” type of situation. There are certainly measures in place now, as Victoria found out. Anyways people way smarter than me have a more coherent explanation as to why this happened.: