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Remarks By Secretary Wilbur Ross at the Signing Ceremony Between the Australian Space Agency and NASA

AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY

Thank you, Jim, for that kind introduction. It is my pleasure to be with all of you on such a beautiful morning in downtown Washington after yesterday’s festivities. Welcome Prime Minister Morrison, and your entire staff from Down Under. It is great that you are here in the United States. It is my honor to be with you this morning representing President Trump, Vice President Pence, the National Space Council, and the entire administration to witness the signing of this joint statement on space cooperation. 

I am planning a trip to Australia in few weeks and look forward to our meetings on space, rare-earths, and on strengthening our already-strong commercial alliance. The United States and Australia have a 60-year partnership in space exploration and discovery. 

Today’s agreement will facilitate our return to the Moon by 2024, with a permanent colony there; a stepping stone to Mars. Congratulations to the Australian Space Agency for moving so quickly on this initiative just a year after your establishment. And congratulations to both the Australian Space Agency and NASA for all of your hard work in making today’s event a reality.

This morning’s Joint Statement of Intent will allow an “industry-to-industry collaboration” to sustain the long-term effort to move permanently beyond low-Earth orbit. It establishes a basis for us to work together on space technologies and build the infrastructure required for space travel and exploration.

Only a few years ago, the space industry was enervated. But that has quickly changed, thanks to technology, innovation, and — most importantly — to the vitality of a new generation of entrepreneurs. Today, space is a global high-tech growth industry, driven mostly by the private sector. This time, when we go to the Moon, we will do it in partnership with the commercial industry, as well as with allies like Australia. We have a unique opportunity to provide all humanity with the aspirations and hope that come with a successful space endeavor.

Now, I have the privilege of introducing the Honorable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia. Yesterday, Prime Minister Morrison paid the first official visit to the White House by the Commonwealth of Australia in 13 years. It was only the second State Dinner hosted by President Trump, an indication of how special our relationship is with your country. It was also the first State Dinner any president has ever hosted in the Rose Garden. Looking up at the sky made us even more eager for the Artemis mission to the Moon. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister and your delegation for being here. I look forward to working with you in the future.
 

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