In a story we have been following for some time now, an Australian court has again ruled against Jacksonville-based APR Energy and in favor of both the Australian bank that outrageously seized over $60 million of APR’s turbines, generators and other equipment as well as the Australian Government who potentially owes APR $200 million in damages.
And while the Court’s ruling is ostensibly divorced from geopolitics, one can’t help but take notice of the fact that it was handed down only days after President Trump told Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull that the official foreign policy of the US is now, “America First” and less than a month after the Australian Government told APR to pound sand over its claim that Australia violated the free trade agreement.
Beyond being egregious, this latest ruling from Down Under seems to be in direct contravention with the terms of the longstanding, bilateral free trade agreement that we have in place with Australia. Why we extend “most favored nation” status to a nation whose laws are clearly stacked against US businesses is a question all Americans should be asking themselves. What’s the next shoe to drop here?
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has been inveighing hard on the President and his allies to get engaged on this issue – and the timing couldn’t be better.
Mayor Curry has truly been a champion, not just for APR, but for all Jacksonville businesses who do work abroad. Curry has reached out to Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and most recently, President Trump himself.
Making a strong case to the President, Curry explained that what’s happened to APR Energy harmed not only APR, but deprived Jacksonville of the jobs and investments that APR would have contributed to the community, if not for the financial stranglehold placed on them by an Australian bank. He specifically requests Trump’s personal attention to the matter and asks the POTUS to, “deliver a strong message to Australia that you will not allow American companies and American workers to be victimized by the disregard of the rules of fair trade and international justice.”
Strong words from Jacksonville’s strong mayor.
The fate of APR Energy’s continued hostage taking by Australia-New Zealand Bank (really, by Australian law itself) now seemingly lies in the hands of President Trump.
The POTUS made clear what the US position is in matters of foreign affairs: America First. The next time PM Turnbull calls pleading for us to take in the immigrants Australia won’t, President Trump should reiterate that policy and take the PM further to task over this ongoing hostage-taking.