Don't nag the Trump administration: Hockey

Lisa Martin

Joe Hockey has warned Australia against being "constant critics" of the Trump administration in its early days.

The Australian ambassador to the United States was in Canberra this week to weigh in on the federal government's new foreign policy blueprint along with all other ambassadors and high commissioners.

The administration is only 69 days into the four-year tenure, Mr Hockey said in a speech to the Sydney Institute.

"If this was a five-day international Test cricket match, we would still be in the first session on the first day," he said.

"In my view we need to avoid the temptation to become constant critics of the new US Administration because it is not a carbon copy of the previous administrations."

He noted there were still 553 key officials awaiting confirmation by the US Senate and that only three per cent of nominees were in place.

Mr Hockey said Mr Trump's election has given keen observers around the world a unique opportunity to appreciate the US as it actually is - in all of its immense complexity and diversity.

"Ultimately, it is domestic politics that drives foreign policy - not the other way around, as some may wish it to be," he said.

Mr Hockey said a key question for the international community is whether the frustrations felt by the American people be exported to the rest of the world during President Trump's term in office.

"Whatever the answer, rest assured, the days of business as usual have come to an end," Mr Hockey said.