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EU and US lock horns over Farm-to-Fork strategy: ‘Protectionism isn’t healthy for Europe, the US, or anywhere else in the world’

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages- vencavolrab
GettyImages- vencavolrab

Related tags: Eu, Us

US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has warned that the EU’s Green Deal and Farm-to-Fork (F2F) strategy could damage the competitiveness of European farmers and even lead to more protectionist trade policies.

Perdue claimed that the Farm-to-Fork and biodiversity strategies, part of the EU's Green Deal platform, could be ‘extremely prohibitive’ and ‘jeopardise agricultural output’ in the region. The US Agriculture Secretary argued that elements of the policy would ‘restrict growth and stifle innovation’. Ultimately, he suggested, this will be damaging the ‘viability’ of European farmers. 

The recently revealed flagship strategies aim to promote sustainable food production in the bloc by shortening supply chains.

If European farmers are unable to compete on the global stage, pressure will increase to introduce protectionist policies that could mean ‘real damage’ for the global trade environment, Perdue continued. 

“When innovative tools are taken away from a farmer, the only choice is protectionism, which isn’t healthy for Europe, the US, or anywhere else in the world,”​ he insisted.

Perdue’s comments were made during a webinar to discuss food security in a post-COVID world. The online event was organised by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Party, which describes itself as the region’s leading conservative voice.

During the same event, EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski rebuffed the suggestion that shortening supply chains equates to new trade barriers. “We need international trade and are interested to increase international trade,”​ he said.

Related topics: Policy

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