US President Trump set to cast shadow over English-Turnbull talks


The Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull and will jet into Queenstown this morning for annual talks with his New Zealand counterpart Bill English.

Looming large over the visit is the US President Donald Trump and his recent decision to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Trade partnership.

It's likely Mr English and Mr Turnbull will discuss ways in which both countries can try to salvage the free trade deal with the remaining countries.

How to deal with the unpredictability of Donald Trump – and the possibility he might impose things like import taxes in the US – is also likely to be a key theme of today's talks.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was given a dressing down when he talked to Mr Trump on the recent and now infamous phone call, which Mr Trump described as the "worst so far".

At the heart of the troubled Turnbull-Trump phone chat was the issue of the US taking 1000 refugees from the Nauru and Manus detention centres. Mr Trump was not happy about the deal arranged by the Obama administration.

The refugee issue may well come up in talks today as New Zealand also has a long standing offer to take 150 refugees from the detention centres. Australia, though, has never taken it up.

The other issue likely to be raised is the issue of Kiwis living in Australia and their access to benefits and citizenship rights.

Last year Australia announced it would give those Kiwis living in Australia post the 2001 clamp down, a pathway to citizenship. However they would have to live in Australia for five years and earn over $53k.

The pathway does not apply to Kiwis heading over to Australia now.

In recent years the annual meetings between the Australian and New Zealand Prime Minister have been described as "pyjama diplomacy", as the leaders have usually stayed overnight and bought their wife and family along.

This year is no exception, with Mr Turnbull and his wife staying at the Hilton. This evening they will take a lake cruise and have dinner with Mr English and his wife Mary.

loading error