Focus on: TTIP, food & farming
A scaled-down deal could include European apples and pears, US seafood, and food safety standards.
A group of EU member states are unhappy about the lack of information from the European Commission on the trade talks with the US and have expressed their “nervousness” about what could be in the deal.
Concerns that a previous EU-US trade deal was anti-democratic and would lower food safety, labour and environmental standards resulted in in mass protests in Germany, Austria and France in 2015.
European Union lawmakers approved an increase in US beef imports to the EU, a move likely to ease transatlantic tensions.
European Union plans to allow more US beef imports cleared a key hurdle when EU lawmakers specialising in trade backed the move, which is likely to ease transatlantic tensions.
Yielding to aggressive US policy, the European Union signed a deal with the United States which allows US farmers to sell more beef to Europe and will lead to a meat surplus in the European market.
The EU has agreed to increase the quota allocated to US beef exporters to 35,000 tonnes a year. The total quota of non-hormone-beef permitted to enter the EU market will remain unchanged at 45,000 tonnes.
The US is not ready to negotiate unless agriculture products are included in the agreement. But agriculture “is a red line for us,” EU’s trade chief said.
That’s in part because of a long-running catch 22: the US won’t contemplate a deal that doesn’t include agricultural goods, and the EU, keen to protect its own farmers and maintain food standards, refuses to allow a deal that does include them.
The US negotiating objectives clearly intend to cover agriculture broadly. One of the trade negotiation mandates adopted by the EU addresses domestic regulatory changes which does not exclude agriculture.