File image of Donald Trump. (Image: Reuters)
“The Trump Turnbull phone call was a big jolt for Australia and an inauspicious start to the relationship between the two leaders”, said University of Sydney, Professor James Curran.
Speaking to CNN-News18 Curran said, “It’s not unprecedented for a US President and the Australian PM to have a robust conversation but what was insulting was that the conversation was leaked and now the Australian government would be very worried about whether their confidential discussions with the White House will remain a secret”.
PM Malcolm Turnbull in his conversation with President Donald Trump had urged him to honor the refugee deal that was signed with Barack Obama. According to the US press, Trump was hostile during the conversation and even called it ‘the worst call of the day’.
In a tweet, the President said, “Do you believe it? The Obama administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal”. On the contrary, the Australian Prime Minister said the conversation was cordial and Trump assured him that the conversation would be honored.
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Despite the rocky start Curran is confident that the Australia-US relationship will survive but added a caveat. He said, “Australia will now have to be ready for a transactional President who doesn’t necessarily have the same kind of affection for the shared value of Australia-US relations”. Curran also feels that as a quid pro quo for honoring the deal the US may want Australia’s military support in the middle east or a joint patrol in the south China sea, something no ally has ever done.
Speaking about the clampdown on immigration and H1B visas Curran said it would be prudent for India to look at other markets such as Canada and Australia for their software professionals. He said, “The new US administration is anti-establishment and so American allies like Australia and India will have to be very cautious and be prepared to stand up and say no when they are being pushed in a direction they don’t want to go”.