Farm Groups Push for Ag in EU Trade Talks

A coalition of agriculture groups is asking the Trump administration to keep pushing agriculture issues in the European Union-U.S. trade talks. In a letter sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 53 organizations urged the Trump administration “to continue stressing” that only a “truly comprehensive agreement will be acceptable.”

The EU has expressed reluctance to include agriculture as it did during earlier negotiations on the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, knowing it would require lifting import barriers that protect EU farmers and removing regulatory measures that are scientifically unjustified or overly restrictive. Because of the EU’s barriers, the United States had a trade deficit in food and agricultural goods of nearly $11 billion last year. That deficit was $1.8 billion in 2000.

National Pork Producers Council president Jim Heimerl says he and others expect the Trump administration “to require the EU to negotiate on agriculture and to eliminate all tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork and other agricultural products.”