By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)
Donald Trump has attempted to soothe concerns of Australia and other nervous nations after his surprise US presidential victory, but in his trademark brash style his words came with a caveat.
“We will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us,” Mr Trump said in his victory speech early Wednesday morning in Manhattan.
In an historic result, Republican candidate Mr Trump defied polls, pundits and his lack of political experience to defeat Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.
There are potential rough waters for Australia ahead following Mr Trump’s win.
Mr Trump’s confidant and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions told reporters at the Trump victory party the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership between the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and eight other nations was “dead”.
Mr Trump has said he is not opposed to trade deals with nations, but he will only sign pacts he considers are the best deal for America.
“America will no longer settle for anything less than the best,” Mr Trump said.
As well as promising to put an end to the TPP in his first 100 days in the White House, Mr Trump has vowed to “rip up” existing free trade agreements with Australia and 19 other nations to “make really good ones”.
Mr Trump, on the campaign trail, put other nations on notice.
He promised to direct his new secretary of commerce to “identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers, and also direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses”.
A US-China trade war becomes a real prospect, with Mr Trump threatening to slap a 45 per cent tariff on China’s imports.
US military alliances with Australia, Japan, South Korea and other friendly nations will be reviewed, with Mr Trump declaring allies need to pay their way.
“I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interest first, we will deal fairly with everyone,” he said in his victory speech.
The world will wait to see if Mr Trump goes through with his promise to pull the US from the Paris Climate Agreement and stop billions of dollars in global warming payments to the United Nations.
He has also said he will dramatically boost the US military, increasing the Army to 540,000 active duty soldiers, rebuild the US Navy toward a goal of 350 ships, provide the US Air Force with 1,200 fighter aircraft and grow the US Marine Corps to 36 battalions.