Bill English says he "looks forward" to his first phone call from Donald Trump. He is probably being unduly diplomatic after Australia's Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, got the Trump treatment this week. For a former investment banker it was probably a brutal introduction to the way this overblown builder deals with people. It was not the way any United States President worthy of the title would deal with a faithful ally.
Certainly the agreement with President Barrack Obama is a strange one. The US will take in 1200 illegal migrants from Australian offshore detention camps and Australia will accept Costa Ricans refused entry to the US. If the purpose of refusing entry is to discourage further attempts, it is had to see what is gained by granting some of these people entry to a country of comparable wealth and opportunity.
But it is a measure of how loyal an ally Australian has been that the US would do this deal, and that US diplomats could persuade Trump not to discard it, as he has done with a rather larger agreement. Given his contempt for deals done by the US to date, and his campaign against illegal migrants, nobody could be surprised he would vent his frustration in tweets about having to accept this one.
But to treat the leader of a friendly country the way he reportedly did was rude, unprofessional, insulting to Australia and an embarrassment to his own country. His chief negotiator explains, "We are business people, we are not going to govern with diplomatic niceties." They are not business people that business people respect.