Joint media release:

  • The Hon Kevin Hogan MP, Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism

Prime Minister Albanese hasn’t lifted a finger to try to salvage an Australia EU Free Trade Agreement, failing to pick up the phone to his counterpart EU President Ursula von der Leyen for near on six months.


Revealed during Senate Estimates, Prime Minister and Cabinet officials confirmed that Prime Minister Albanese has not spoken to the EU President since early September last year, nor were they able to identify engagement with any other EU leader.


Mr Albanese’s radio silence with the EU follows the collapse of negotiations between Trade Minister Farrell and his EU counterparts on 30 October.


Rather than trying to get negotiations back on track Mr Albanese appears to be happy to let the FTA linger on the backburner for an indefinite period of time.


While Australia should never sign onto a bad deal, as the offer made in October reportedly would have been, the Albanese Government appears to have just given up on actively pursuing the potential benefits of a trade deal with the world’s third largest economic block.


Mr Albanese’s intransigence contrasts with former Prime Minister Scott Morrison who personally negotiated the final terms of the Australia UK FTA with former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


Under the Albanese Government not only have they let trade talks with the EU collapse but Mr Albanese has either raised the white flag or has no interest in such negotiations.


Free trade agreements require engagement from all levels of government, particularly when things go south. What does it take for this Prime Minister to show leadership when he continues to go missing on matters of economic and national security importance?