The president tweeted late on March 9 that he had spoken with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and said "He is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship".
US President Donald Trump has given his strongest indication yet that Australia will be exempt from his planned steel and aluminium tariffs, revealing the two countries are working "very quickly" on a new security agreement.
There is a glimmer of hope Australia may be able to secure an exemption from proposed USA steel and aluminium tariffs after the White House opened up some wriggle room on national security grounds.
European Union industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, who is visiting Australia, said it was important to send a strong message supporting trade liberalisation.
"Great discussion today on security and trade".
Australian steel and aluminum exports to the United States were worth just over A$400 million ($314 million) past year, government data showed.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop is in NY urgently seeking a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise concerns about the tariff hike.
Earlier this week, Trump announced the USA will impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imports as part of its renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
But Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said the tariff announcement would still hurt companies even if an exemption was granted.
But it is an export market worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Australian businesses nevertheless.
He has already said that Mexico and Canada will be exempt.
Australia's free pass comes after Turnbull flew to the United States in February to meet with the president and United States officials to discuss the future of trade, economic growth and security between the two nations. Do you think it's important for Australia to keep the U.S. on-side?