Should Donald Trump honour Scott Morrison with another pomp-filled White House state visit when the Australian prime minister flies to the US in September to attend the G7?
An American columnist thinks so.
It is less than a year since the US president and First Lady Melania Trump broke out the fine White House china for Scott and Jenny Morrison and state visits in DC are rare.
Tom Rogan penned a column for the conservative Washington Examiner on Sunday titled “Shared courage against China: Why Australia deserves a second state visit”.
Rogan argues Australia is more courageous than the UK or any other ally for “standing up against an increasingly aggressive China” and Morrison “has far more right to call himself a leader of the free world than does German Chancellor Angela Merkel”.
“State visits are normally years apart,” Rogan wrote.
“Still, a second state visit in such short order would send two important messages to the world.
“First, that the Trump administration recognises those allies who make hard choices in order to stand with the United States.
“Second, that the US will consolidate allies against external pressure.”
Rogan points to the way the prime minister has cracked down on Chinese influence and espionage operations in Australia and boosted investment in South China Sea military capabilities.
“When China has increased its threat of tariffs and other punitive measures, Morrison has simply doubled down,” the columnist wrote.
The prime minister confirmed on Monday he will attend the G7 summit in Washington DC in September.
Morrison was just the second world leader to be granted the high diplomatic honour of a state visit during the Trump administration.
The first was French President Emmanuel Macron in 2018.
Morrison also became the first Australian prime minister to receive the honour since George W Bush feted Prime Minister John Howard in 2006.