Biden's trip to Australia reportedly cancelled
US President Joe Biden's much-anticipate trip to Australia is reportedly off the table amid ongoing pressures at home.
Biden was set to join Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as guests of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the Quad leaders summit on May 24 in Sydney.
But the US leader is embroiled in crucial domestic political negotiations, including a bid to raise the national debt ceiling, that could see him re-evaluate the trip.
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Now, US media has reported that White House senior staff have said Biden will not make it down under.
US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has warned that if the debt ceiling – essentially, the upper limit on how much money the government can borrow – is not increased by June 1, the country could default on its debts and risk sliding into recession.
White House national security spokesperson John Kirby earlier confirmed the Australia trip was being "re-evaluated".
"There's nothing to cancel as yet, but that could happen," he said.
"The president often has to make tough decisions about how and where he's going to spend his time."
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Biden was also due to travel to Papua New Guinea for a potential defence announcement, and was scheduled to address the federal parliament in Canberra.
Asked about potential disruption to the Quad leaders' meeting yesterday, Albanese said he was expecting Biden to attend.
"Hosting the Quad is a big deal for Australia. It's the largest event that we have had here in this country since the G20 on a political level," he said.
Biden will travel to Japan for the G7 leaders' meeting at the end of this week.
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