- About bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
US to push back on SPS farm trade barriers -Kirk
Reuters | Thu Mar 12, 2009
U.S. to push back on SPS farm trade barriers -Kirk
WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) — The United States will make it a priority to get rid of barriers to U.S. farm exports based on unjustified sanitary and phytosanitary concerns about human, animal and plant health, the designee for U.S. Trade Representative said on Thursday.
The barriers have blocked U.S. meat, corn, rice, and other products from a variety of European and Asian markets.
Under the Obama administration, the United States will "aggressively utilize ... all available tools in the WTO and other mechanisms" to fight SPS barriers, Ron Kirk said in written responses to the Senate Finance Committee.
One of the oldest SPS irritants has been a European ban on U.S. beef based on concerns about growth hormones, dating back to the early 1980s.
The United States won a case at the World Trade Organization against the EU ban, and has had retaliatory sanctions against certain EU goods for more than a decade.
Asked whether he would keep the retaliatory list, most recently updated in January by the outgoing Bush administration, Kirk said USTR officials were trying to resolve the long-standing issue.
"USTR officials are currently engaged in discussions with the EU that could result in at least an interim solution to the dispute," he said.
The USTR will also work to normalize beef trade with Korea, Japan, China and other nations still not accepting all U.S. beef following the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003, Kirk said.
Under Kirk’s watch, the USTR’s office would use every tool "from diplomacy to the dispute resolution process" to get the EU to accept shipments of genetically modified corn, he said.
"We are developing additional expertise and directing resources at addressing non-tariff barriers to trade like this one," Kirk said, referring to the EU ban on GMO crops.
He also said the USTR would look at bans on U.S. pork because of concerns about ractopamine, a growth promotant, as well as a recent move by Russia to ban pork from some of the largest U.S. processing plants.
Kirk said the United States would look for more market access for farm and other goods as it examines the Doha round of WTO negotiations.
The committee voted on Thursday to back Kirk’s nomination, which will now be considered by the full Senate. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by David Gregorio)
News from the movements
3-Jul-2015 La Vía Campesina
A ambos lados del Pacífico, campesinos, familias campesinas y trabajadores rurales rechazan la extensión de las políticas neoliberalesNosotros, miembros de La Vía Campesina en ambos lados del Pacífico, expresamos conjuntamente nuestra oposición al TPP.
3-Jul-2015 Boing BoingAt a pro-TTIP congress where the Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister was promoting the treaty, a flashmob of attendees stood up singing "Do You Hear the People Sing?" a rousing revolutionary song from Les Miserables.
1-Jul-2015 SputnikUn ciclo de conferencias organizadas por Los Verdes Europeos recorrerá esta semana numerosas capitales, comenzando este martes en Madrid, para continuar con la campaña internacional de rechazo al Tratado de Libre Comercio que negocia la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos, conocido como TTIP por sus siglas inglesas.
1-Jul-2015 CNCD-11.11.11Human rights organizations have joined the broad Belgian coalition of the trade union confederations, mutuality’s, consumer organizations and environmental and development umbrella NGOs and are asking for an immediate suspension of the TTIP negotiations.
1-Jul-2015 CNCD-11.11.11Des organisations de droits de l’Homme se sont jointes à la coalition belge de syndicats, mutualités, organisations de consommateurs, coupoles d’environnement et de coopération au développement demandant la suspension des négociations du TTIP et conditionnant l’éventuel redémarrage de nouvelles négociations à l’adoption d’un tout autre mandat
AFTINET: Reply to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Myths and Realities document, June 2015The Australian government misrepresents the claims of critics and fails to address substantial criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership, says civil society network AFTINET.
30-Jun-2015List of pages where you can find out which cities/towns/regions have declared themselves as TTIP-free, by country
29-Jun-2015 La Via CampesinaOn both sides of the Pacific, peasants, family farmers, and rural workers reject the extension of neoliberal policies
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Join us.