Ag Groups Have Own Ideas About T-TIP Talks

The third round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and European Union took place this past week in Washington, D.C.

Negotiators are hoping to find enough common ground to move beyond conceptual discussion on new rules and start laying down proposals for discussion and negotiation in early 2014.

National Pork Producers Council Director of International Trade Policy, Sanitary and Technical Issues outlined the priorities of U.S. pork producers in the negotiations during a stakeholder forum. NPPC says the EU represents a tremendous market opportunity for U.S. pork exports. But the group notes numerous barriers - including multiple quotas with high in-quota duties, a ban on the use of ractopamine, mandatory trichinae mitigation, a prohibition on pathogen-reduction treatments and a costly plant approval system - prevent the U.S. pork industry from exporting significant amounts of pork to the EU. NPPC will oppose any deal with the EU that doesn't eliminate all tariffs and other barriers on U.S. pork.

Economist Dermot Hayes at Iowa State University says removal of all EU barriers would significantly increase U.S. exports to the EU - creating more than 170-thousand U.S. jobs.

The U.S. Grains Council has advocated for a more streamlined and efficient EU biotechnology authorization system with data requirements and approval timeframes that are more in line with the U.S. and other comparable government systems.

The Grains Council has started a series of meetings with select EU countries that also support streamlining the EU biotech regulatory structure. The Council and meeting participants will finalize a strategy to actively participate in future T-TIP negotiation sessions.

The U.S. Grains Counil also plans to request further discussions with the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA to coordinate efforts with their negotiating strategy and expected outcomes on resolving the biotechnology and other sanitary and phytosanitary trade barriers.

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