Foreign Minister Bob Carr has congratulated US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on America's foreign policy in the Asia Pacific.

Senator Carr is in Washington this week to meet with officials from the Obama administration, as well as senior American politicians.

He met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday (local time).

Discussions included the transition in Afghanistan, North Korea and political reforms in Burma.

Senator Carr said he did not need to explain Australia's intention to bring forward its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, as outlined by Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week.

"She (Hillary Clinton) had read the prime minister's speech and she was happy with it," he said.

The US was encouraged by signs of nation building in Afghanistan, Senator Carr added.

He believed all key policy makers in Washington were committed to America refocusing its strategic attention on the Asia Pacific.

"American policy makers are aware this is a historic rebalancing of America," he said.

"And I congratulated Hilary Clinton, because this is something Australia has long argued for.

"We've argued for the importance of Indonesia, for America involving itself more in this part of the world ...

"Going back 100 years, Australia has wanted this, on security grounds."