A coalition of 60 food and agricultural organizations have informed the Obama administration that any free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the European Union (EU) must include agriculture and the EU must address no-tariff trade barriers.
A coalition of 60 food and agricultural organizations have informed the Obama administration that any free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the European Union (EU) must include agriculture and the EU must address no-tariff trade barriers. In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the coalition stressed the importance that any FTA with the EU must be comprehensive and address impediments to trade. The letter reminded the administration that the EU’s FTAs with other trading partners have not been comprehensive when it comes to agriculture. The coalition said, “Its FTAs have excluded agricultural goods it produces and have not included a way to address regulatory measures that conflict with U.S. interests and World Trade Organization rules. Examples of these (conflicts) run the gamut, from the EU’s ban on the use of hormones in cattle and genetically modified organism (GMO) approval and labeling regulations that restrict U.S. corn, soy and refined corn product exports to unjustifiable restrictions on production methods in poultry, pork and beef (pathogen reduction treatments), unscientific restrictions on the use of safe feed additives in pork and beef (ractopamine), imposition of arbitrary sustainability requirements on the production in the United States and in other countries of feedstocks for biofuels used in the EU, and many other unjustified restrictions affecting a wide swath of U.S. agriculture.” Organizations signing the letter included the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Meat Institute, American Soybean Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, and U.S. Meat Export Federation.