It is reported that Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister sought from Julie Bishop, his Australian counterpart, her reaction to the statement from the White House that the Trump administration intented to renegotiate US trade agreements with eleven countries including Oz.
Her reaction ... "I don't believe it" and "I don't take it credibly".
Why? For the simple reason that under the AUSTA (The Australian United States Trade Agreement) the US trade surplus with Australia has, over the last decade, grown from $14b to $25b. It would be madness for the United States to kill off the goose that has kept on laying golden eggs for them but then, under President Trump, I guess anything is possible.
I note too the report the China, Australia and New Zealand have all agreed that statements coming out of the White House were so confused it was pointless trying to assess American foreign policy at the moment. With that in mind I think the decision of MFAT to establish a 24/7 unit to monitor White House statements was a prudent move to be applauded.