While the United States could be embarking on an increasingly isolationist and protectionist bent under possible president Donald Trump, Essential polling shows that Australians value our relationship with the superpower less than we did five years ago. When asked how important it is for Australia to have a close relationship with a list of countries, 49% of respondents said that our relationship with the US was “very important”, while 37% said it was “quite important”. In March of 2011, 60% of respondents thought the relationship with the US was very important, and in May last year 44% thought it was very important, a slight increase, perhaps in light of tensions in the South China Sea.
Some 42% of respondents said it was very important to have a close relationship with China, up from 39% last year but down from a high of 54% in November 2013. With regard to Japan, 25% of respondents said it was very important to have a close relationship, while 42% said it was quite important, showing a 6% drop since last year.