​Media release

Negotiations launched for Australia-EU FTA​

18 June 2018

  • Negotiations for the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) begin today
  • Minister Littleproud held bilateral meeting with EU Commissioner for Trade
  • The FTA provides significant potential for Australian agricultural exports
Negotiations for a prized Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement have been set in motion in Canberra today.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud held talks about improving trade in food and fibre with EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström.

“It was great to sit down with the Commissioner to discuss how an FTA would create opportunities for agriculture in Australia and the EU,” Minister Littleproud said. 

“The EU is already our fourth largest agricultural export destination and we are confident this future FTA will increase the value of the EU market for our farmers. 

“More high quality Australian produce on EU dinner tables is a win for EU consumers and a win for our farmers, our rural and regional communities and our nation. More farm trade supports those small communities right around Australia, from Burke to Barcaldine.

“Australians also enjoy a wide range of European food and drink products. 

“The Coalition Government continues working hard to improve market access for Aussie farmers.”  

In 2016-17, Australia’s top exports to the EU were canola at $1.9 billion, wine at $566 million, wool at $333 million, beef and veal at $229 million, and nuts at $226 million.

Reduced tariffs improve export opportunities for farmers by making it easier for them to access key markets. FTAs also give Australian farmers an advantage over competing countries who do not have FTAs.

Fast Facts:
  • Australia’s top agricultural exports to the EU are canola, wine, greasy wool, beef and veal, and almonds.
  • Australian farmers are benefitting from other FTAs including with China, Japan and Korea and can look forward to better market access under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP-11).
  • Since 1 January 2016, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has secured approximately 162 technical market access gains across many markets and commodities. 
  • This includes 69 for new market access, 15 restored, 55 improved and 23 maintained.