Coalition Outlines Hope for U.S.-EU Negotiations

A coalition of U.S. food and agricultural organizations is praising the Obama administration for launching negotiations with the European Union on a transatlantic free trade agreement - and for its insistence that the agreement be comprehensive and ambitious. Sixty-four organizations signed a letter to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The letter says any agreement with the EU must fit the excellent model established with the Trans-Pacific Partnership - meaning no less than a negotiation covering all significant barriers in a single comprehensive agreement. The coalition did express concern with a trade working group report that suggested an initial U.S.-EU FTA be designed to evolve over time - eliminating most barriers to trade and investment but setting up a mechanism to address other barriers.

The coalition notes recent statements from EU officials have raised doubts about the commitment to dealing with sanitary and phytosanitary issues as part of the negotiations. The coalition says these issues must be addressed as part of the negotiations. They add the SPS provisions must be enforceable.

According to the coalition - a comprehensive and ambitious U.S.-EU FTA will generate economic growth, reduce market volatility and create thousands of new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. But the coalition continues that such a momentous free trade agreement must be built on the foundation established by the United States in the TPP and other U.S. free trade agreements - which build the best trade policy for the future.

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