Coalition Reiterates Position on U.S.-EU Trade Deal

A coalition of U.S. food and agricultural organizations is supporting a free trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union - but says any deal must include agriculture and address impediments to trade in agricultural products. In a letter to U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk - the coalition of 60 organizations says a U.S.-EU FTA would generate economic growth and create many thousands of new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic if carried out properly. The coalition points out this means negotiating a high-standard, 21st century agreement. The coalition points out that is something that has been central to the Obama administration trade policy - but notes that is not the type of agreement the EU has negotiated with other trading partners. According to the coalition - the EU's past FTAs have excluded agricultural goods it produces and its regulatory measures often conflict with World Trade Organization rules. This includes regulations on genetically modified crop approval and labels - and on production methods in poultry, beef and pork. The coalition wrote that it is skeptical that the EU is prepared to undertake a U.S.-style comprehensive negotiation and to include the ag sector.

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