Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden during a four-day visit to Washington D.C. this week.
Here’s what you need to know.
Albanese’s trip to the U.S. this week
Albanese will be hosted by Biden for an official state dinner at the White House on Wednesday, before returning to Australia on Thursday.
A state dinner is a White House tradition honouring a visiting head of government or monarch. Albanese is the third Prime Minister in 20 years to receive the honour.
The U.S. visit comes after Biden cancelled his trip to Sydney in May due to negotiations with Republican lawmakers about the U.S. debt ceiling.
In a press conference on Sunday, Albanese said he would be “very supportive” of Biden’s proposed laws currently before U.S. Congress, including legislation to fund the AUKUS program. Albanese has said he will discuss the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal and renewable energy transition during the visit.
He will also ask Biden to continue U.S. cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, which Albanese described as “very important”.
Albanese will arrive in Washington D.C. during a period of political infighting and immobility.
The U.S. House of Representatives has been kept at a standstill in recent weeks as it continually fails to elect a new Speaker, driven by division in the Republican party.
Congress needs to pass new spending laws to keep the Government operating beyond the next month. This could result in new crisis negotiations to raise the debt ceiling.