is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist
Groups Push Coordinated Trade Approach to the EU

Groups Push Coordinated Trade Approach to the EU

More than 40 food and ag groups are worried that a move recommending a 'single undertaking' to trade negotiations could be trouble.

Trade issues aren't easy to work through, but a group of 40 ag and food organizations, are expressing their concern that a move to create a "single undertaking" approach to trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union could lead to a Free Trade Agreement that falls short of long-established U.S. objectives for trade pacts.

MAKING AN FTA: Groups warn current attempt at a free-trade agreement, may not be down the right path.

In its letter to the Obama administration, the groups say the approach being considered could lead to a perpetuation of barriers on my products in many sectors. "The 'negotiating pace' possible for sensitive products would no doubt be that of a snail, but apparently that would be acceptable under this approach, if that is all that is deemed 'possible.' This plan is bold only on paper. In fact, its basic premise is that it is better to do whatever we can as soon as we can rather than the most that we can," the letter says.

The coalition noted that the notion that agriculture is intractable is mistaken, citing the WTO Uruguay Round which resulted in major EU agricultural concessions that many had thought impossible at the outset – and would have been impossible without the pressure of a single undertaking in that negotiation. Similarly, agricultural differences in the Doha Round were, for the most part, not between the United States and the EU. Furthermore, problems in the Doha non-agricultural market access negotiations were arguably at least as intractable as those in agriculture.

“Keeping agriculture issues in trade deals is a key way for governments around the world to help keep the price of food affordable.,” the letter stated. “This needs to be seen as the critical national security issue that it is. Maintaining agriculture as a major element of any U.S.-EU FTA is extremely important because of another objective proposed for a new U.S.-EU trade agreement – that it should be structured such that countries with which the United States and the EU already have FTAs in common should be able to readily ‘dock’ with the U.S.-EU deal to create a trade arrangement that is more global in scope.”

You can see the letter, and its signees, at Trade Letter.

TAGS: Regulatory
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.