It was confirmed on Wednesday that Washington Lawyer Arthur Culvahouse would fill the role in Canberra for the next two years.
During a time of a partially shutdown government, as well as the heated Mexican border debate amongst congress, Culvahouse was one of the final acts of the US Senate’s current term, as the Australian Associated Press reports.
A lengthy search for the right match
The appointing certainly wasn’t drama free. In fact, for a role that tended to look quite desirable, Trump has found it quite difficult to fill the position.
Initially, Trump wanted former Pacific Command commander Harry Harris to situate himself in Canberra. But early last year, Harry took up the ambassador post in South Korea instead.
AAP also report that Orrin Hatch and Bob Corker, both Republican senators, were offered the Australian-based role. Both however, declined.
And then, finally, eyes landed on Culvahouse. The legal stalwart for the Republican party has worked not only for Trump but also other US Presidents, including Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.
He was also significantly involved in Sarah Palin’s selection as John McCain’s vice-presidential nominee back in 2008, when Palin was just the barely known Alaskan governor.
His resume no doubt matched the requirements. Thus his nomination was well-deserved.
And with Democrats securing majority in the House, and the Republicans beginning their newfound control in the Senate, they both decided to push through the backlog of Trump administration nominees. Otherwise, it would have taken weeks for Culvahouse to go through the entire re-nomination process.
Lucky for us, the US has our best interest in mind. And so does Culvahouse, based on what he had to say about the role.
Culvahouse the right fit for Australia
As AAP reports, 70-year-old Culvahouse had a few promising words to say at his Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing in Washington last month. The seasoned professional intends to strengthen the US-Australia relationship, whatever the stakes.
Culvahouse told the hearing:
‘Just let me say I view the strategic and security relationship between the US and Australia to be strategically critical and I will, if confirmed, make an assessment of efforts by third countries, third parties, to undermine that relationship.’
‘If there are such efforts, including China, I will not refrain from forthrightly reporting up the chain to the (State) Department and to speak publicly if and as required.’
‘China is Australia’s largest trading partner and that gives it out-sized influence and out-sized opportunities to a nation that is already, let us say, aggressive and I know that from my personal experience representing US companies in the Asia-Pacific.’
No doubt a result of his heavy dealings in the legal department for multi-national corporations — including Exxon, Ford, Goldman Sachs and AT&T — Culvahouse is clearly privy to the tendency of China to act aggressively if they feel their economy is being threatened.
And seeing as we rely so heavily on China to keep our economy afloat, it seems ideal to have a keen observer like Culvahouse looking out for our best interests.
Yet another thing to cheer about in 2019.
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