You can call me pal: PM OK with Biden name

"When we speak privately, (Joe Biden) refers to me as pal," Scott Morrison says.

Scott Morrison isn't fussed if Joe Biden forgot his name.

The US president raised eyebrows when he referred to the prime minister as "pal" and "that fellow Down Under" during a major defence co-operation announcement.

While Mr Biden called UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson by his first name, Mr Morrison only was addressed by his title.

During a media blitz to talk up the new AUKUS pact, Mr Morrison laughed off the incident.

"Usually when we speak privately, he refers to me as pal," he told the Seven Network.

He said the pair had a great working relationship despite the awkward moment.

"Oh I didn't pay much attention to it. I mean these things happen. They happen frequently," he told Nine.

"From time to time you know I've been known to let the odd name slip from my memory - that's pretty normal in our line of work I've got to be honest."

Mr Morrison said he referred to Mr Biden as "Mr President" or "mate" in private conversations.

Australia's leader will visit the United States for the first time since Mr Biden became president next week.

Australian Associated Press