US Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday reaffirmed "the strong and historic" alliance with Australia and confirmed that it will honour a refugee deal that Washington made with Canberra.
Mike Pence offered the assurances to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday during a joint media conference in Sydney.
Turnbull has resisted pressure to choose between the two countries, both of which are considered vital allies; the United States is Australia's most important security partner, while China is its most important trading partner.
As police helicopters hovered overhead, Mr Pence mingled on the perfectly manicured harbourside lawn with the likes of Qantas boss Alan Joyce, Telstra chairman John Mullen, the Australian Ballet's artistic director David McAllister and indigenous elder Uncle Vic Simms as they sipped champagne and nibbled on canapes.
Commencing the deal has become more urgent for Australia, which has faced growing legal and political pressure to close the camps following cases of violence between refugees and island residents.
Australia's relationship with the new administration in Washington got off to a rocky start when Trump lambasted Turnbull over a refugee resettlement arrangement that Trump labeled a "dumb" deal.
Trump campaigned on a tough immigration policy, and one of his first and most controversial actions as president was to freeze the USA refugee resettlement program.
Pence landed in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, the fourth stop on a tour that has included meetings in Seoul, Tokyo and Jakarta with USA corporations about trade and investment issues.
The meeting between Mr Pence and the Australian business leaders comes a few months after Mr Trump tore up the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive regional trade deal backed by Australia and other regional neighbours.
He echoed Mr Turnbull's calls for China to play an active role in pressuring North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. Pence will meet with the prime minister on Saturday as part of his trip to Asia.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Australia is beginning with a reaffirmation of the two allies' strong ties.
"We've been with you every step of the way", Cosgrove told Pence.
Turnbull acknowledged Trump's reluctance but said the USA commitment was a measure of Trump's new U.S. administration.
On the second full day of his whirlwind visit Mr Pence, his wife Karen and daughters Charlotte and Audrey will visit the Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo and take a harbour cruise with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
"I bring greetings this morning from the President of the United States", Pence told Turnbull and other Australian officials ahead of their meeting.
Pence was using the visit to make a number of cultural stops, joining with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the Australian Museum, observing exhibits on crocodiles and snakes and listening as one of the museum's managers offered a traditional Highlands welcome of Papua New Guinea.