First United States delegation to state attends Defence Tasmania Forum in Hobart
Thursday, 5 December 2019

Article by Emily Jarvie

extracted from The Examiner: First United States delegation to state attends Defence Tasmania Forum in Hobart

Picture: Premier Will Hodgman tours the Hobart waterfront with members of the US trade delegation.

A high-level delegation of United States defence companies have attended the Defence Tasmania Forum in Hobart.

Led by US Consul General Michael Kleine, the delegation includes representatives from eight major defence related companies.

Mr Kleine said he saw huge potential between the US and Tasmania.

"We are putting together two economic stories. The US is by far the biggest investor here in Australia. We are joining that story up with the economic success we are seeing in Tasmania," Mr Kleine said.

"This is the continuation of a great story and we are going to make it even better."

American Chamber of Commerce chief executive April Palmerlee said Australia was playing an outsized role on the American stage.

"We are looking at lot at defence today and there are a lot of areas we are looking to develop ... maritime, also potentially space, intellectual property that's being developed [in Tasmania]," Ms Palmerlee said.

"I hope this is the first of many visits from American companies to come to Tasmania."

Premier and Defence Minister Will Hodgman said the delegation was the first time the state has hosted a trade mission from the US in Tasmania.

"With major defence firms like these taking an interest in our high-quality niche products and innovative solutions, there is significant growth room for our local advanced manufacturing industries," Mr Hodgman said.

Mr Hodgman said the delegation was building momentum towards a Tasmanian trade and investment mission to the US planned for early 2020.

"[This] will present significant opportunities for Tasmanian businesses to grow their sales with a major international trading partner," Mr Hodgman said.

"Nine out of our top 10 trading partners are Asian counties but we have very important relationships with the US and its important we diversify our effort and make sure the American consumer is aware of all we have to offer."

When asked if he would invite US president Donald Trump to visit Tasmania, Mr Hodgman said "the sky's the limit".

Expressions of interest for Tasmanian businesses to participate in the US trade mission close on December 13.