The Bay Area-Silicon Valley and Australia

An Expanding Trans-Pacific Partnership

Australia and the United States enjoy close and longstanding economic, strategic, and cultural ties, allowing for important cooperation in the rapidly emerging hi-tech and innovation fields. In addition to shared values, language, history, and democratic systems, Americans and Australians have a shared love of freedom. Australians have fought alongside Americans in every major US military engagement over the last 100 years. The two countries have been formally linked since 1951 by the Australia-New Zealand-United States Defense Treaty (ANZUS), and share intelligence with each other and with Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom under the “Five Eyes” framework. Since 2005, the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement has facilitated a huge increase in the two-way flow of trade and investment. This alignment has translated into close cooperation in areas such as defense, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing and materials.

While Australians were attracted to California in the 1800s to mine for gold, today Australian founders and entrepreneurs come to the Bay Area for a different kind of gold — innovation and access to global markets. The ties underlying these relationships begin with a common language but extend beyond that to include a set of shared, deeply held values rooted in an appreciation for democracy, open markets, open trade, the protection of intellectual property, and the rule of law.

Given current geopolitical challenges around the world, the Indo-Pacific region will continue to grow in importance for the United States, and so, too, will its relationship with Australia. This report assesses Australia’s economic ties to the Bay Area and outlines areas where capabilities, resources, and close alignment will offer stronger opportunities for business and other collaboration in the future.