- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from 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
24-Aug-2016 Deutsche WelleHundreds of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets in several German cities to rally against plans to move forward with two key international trade agreements - one year after a similar protest managed to attract similar numbers.
23-Aug-2016 APRNNeither the TPP nor the RCEP, neither the US nor China and their corporations will ever address the long-standing people’s aspiration for an international trading system that responds to their needs.
23-Aug-2016 ScoopCivil society groups, trade unions, church groups, environmentalists, gender activists and many more are calling for Ministers to make no decision on PACER-Plus — a free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands — until there has been a proper social impact assessment and mandate from the Pacific people who are most likely to be affected.
22-Aug-2016 Radio New ZealandA meeting on Pacific labour mobility under the PACER Plus trade deal has a glaring omission – the voices of organised labour.
Avec de nouveaux accords commerciaux, le vol organisé par les multinationales est légalisé et les semences paysannes deviennent illégalesDe nouveaux accords de libre-échange légalisent le vol organisé par les grandes entreprises et mettent en péril la possibilité pour les agriculteurs de conserver, produire et échanger des semences.
22-Aug-2016 El PaísEl secretario de Relaciones Internacionales del Pit-Cnt, Fernando Gambera, afirmó tras participar del XVI Foro Social Mundial realizado en Montreal (Canadá) que los Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) son una preocupación para todas las centrales sindicales porque "apuntan a degradar las conquistas de los trabajadores".
22-Aug-2016 Premium TimesSocial Action has asked the federal government to not to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. Ghana and Ivory Coast have also resisted the EPA
18-Aug-2016 ALAIEl poder corporativo transnacional tiende a fortalecerse por medio del impulso de diversos tratados o de inversiones, que se orientan a profundizar la desregulación de los grandes capitales, y que constituyen verdaderos candados jurídicos a políticas reformistas orientadas al bien común.
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. Get involved.