US food industry encourages lift in trade barriers

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade

The US food industry body, the Grocery Manufacturers of America,
this week showed its strong support for the International Trade
Commission's (ITC) efforts...

The US food industry body, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, this week showed its strong support for the International Trade Commission's (ITC) efforts to give trade negotiators new tools to eliminate trade barriers faced by the food and beverage industry. "The processed food and beverage industry provides a key export gateway for our farmers and ranchers,''​said Sarah Fogarty, GMA director of international trade. ''Completion of the ITC study will help us address the trade problems faced by this sector so that it can continue to play a vital role in our agricultural marketing system.''​ Fogarty made her remarks in testimony at a ITC Commissioner hearing on the ongoing study, ''Processed Foods: and Beverages: A Description of Tariffand Non-Tariff Barriers for Major Products and Their Impact on Trade.''​ The GMA outlined various import taxes imposed on the food and beverage industry. ''On average, tariffs on processed foods are the highest of anysector,''​said Fogarty. Duties on products that contain politically sensitive crops, such as sugar, peanuts and dairy, are complex and prohibitive, she added. Fogarty stated the need for an accurate accounting of these tariffs globally and drew attention to the economic benefits of trade of finished goods. According to her ''Everydollar in exports of processed foods generates $1.57 in economic activity and each $1 billion in exports supports 16,700 jobs. Comparatively, the samenumbers for bulk foods are $0.81 and 12,700 respectively.''​ Fogarty also drew attention to non-tariff trade barriers and said that the ITC focus on this area will allow U.S. to challenge countries that adopt unnecessaryregulations that impede trade. She also criticised legislation in certain countries that imposes bans on certain foods, ``these regulations arenot science-based and are not consistent with current trade rules.`` The GMA described diverse mandatory labelling requirements for biotech foods and "overly zealous" requirements for export certificates as further significant barriers to trade. If one considers that the GMA is the world's largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies with U.S. sales of more than $460 billion the above comments from Ms. Fogarty are not altogether surprising. Source: GMA

Related topics: Market Trends

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