EU-US trade talks progress despite red tape fears

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Cogeca president Christian Pees: 'ban on hormone treated meat must be respected'
Cogeca president Christian Pees: 'ban on hormone treated meat must be respected'

Related tags: International trade, Eu

High-level talks between the US agriculture secretary Tom Vilsacks and the presidents for Copa and Cogeca have outlined the opportunities that the transatlantic trade (TTIP) deal can offer both parties. 

But, despite the wealth of opportunities available with the TTIP deal, Copa and Cogeca have said there need to be concrete plans established to eliminate red tape and non-tariff trade barriers.

The announcement came after both parties traded offers on market access in the TTIP talks, with 97% of tariff lines included in the offer, according to a Copa and Cogeca spokesman.

Speaking at the meeting, Copa president Martin Merrild said: “We see opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic from a potential agreement, as the USA is the first client for EU agri-food products worth €15bn. But trade must be two-way and non-tariff barriers to trade removed.”

He added: “We still cannot export any substantial volumes of beef to the USA – only two member states are authorised – even though the US authorities agreed to allow the export of European beef to the US market. A potential agreement will also be more challenging for the livestock sector – beef, poultry and pork – which have been classified as sensitive in the market access offers exchanged in October.”

US must respect EU

On the issue of non-tariff trade barriers Cogeca president Christian Pees said: “We want to make sure that the EU’s high quality standards are not undermined – the EU’s ban on hormone treated meat must be respected, for example, as well as the EU system of geographical indications (GIs) which protects EU products from imitations.​”

EU-US talks on TTIP are likely to continue. It was reported by Copa and Cogeca that the EU’s offer, submitted to the US on 1 December, was far more ambitious than that of the US Department of Agriculture.

Related topics: Meat

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