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On 75th Anniversary Of The Battle Of The Coral Sea, Courtney And Gallagher Launch Bipartisan House 'Friends Of Australia Caucus'

May 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced the launch of the bipartisan Friends of Australia Caucus that they will co-chair during the 115th Congress.

“Australia is one of our closest allies on the global stage and a key strategic partner in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Courtney. “Today, we remember the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, a significant historical moment when U.S. and Australian Naval forces fought side by side to ensure allied victory in the Pacific. As I said to Ambassador Hockey earlier this year, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the caucus to strengthen the unshakable strategic, economic, and cultural bonds we share with the Australian people.”

“Australia has long been one of America’s closest partners in the Asia-Pacific. Our two nations are bound by shared values and a shared history forged from the fires of war,” said Gallagher. “On the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, this history serves as a reminder of the lasting commitment of our two nations to defending peace and self-determination in the Asia-Pacific. I’m eager to get to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle supporting this indispensable alliance.”

The United States and Australia share a close economic partnership and free trade agreement that facilitates more than $65 billion in annual trade of goods and services. According to the U.S. Trade Representative, Australia is the United States’ 15th largest export market and 35th largest importer of goods in the most recent data available. Additionally, the U.S. remains the largest foreign investor in Australia, accounting for more than a quarter of its foreign investment.

The Congressional Friends of Australia Caucus will work to build upon this foundation through open dialogue between members of Congress and the Australian Parliament through congressional delegation travel and participation in other U.S.-Australian advocacy events in Washington – including the yearlong celebration of “100 Years of Mateship” currently being sponsored by the Australian Embassy. This year long series of events will highlight the close ties formed by Americans and Australians serving together on the battlefield during World War II, and most notably during the Battle of the Coral Sea fought from May 4-8, 1942.