Copa, Cogeca say trade deal with US could benefit both sides of Atlantic, as long as key conditions met

Copa and Cogeca say a trade deal with the US could provide expanding opportunities for agricultural trade, but this depends if key conditions are met and we have seen little progress yet.

Speaking at the stakeholders forum during the 11th round of talks, Copa Vice-President and livestock farmer Harry Sinclair warned “Since the start of the talks, we have underlined specific demands which need to be met if these talks are to be a success. This includes removing red tape and technical barriers to trade and making progress on the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) chapter. Excessive controls which raise costs for operators and inspections must be avoid. Today , hard cheeses, semi-soft cheeses and soft ripened cheeses have to wait 60 days before circulating on the US market. The main issue here appears to be the testing methods which are not the same on both sides of the Atlantic. Can we use the best technology together?”

“Also there is the issue of the veterinary agreement and the principle of recognizing the EU as a single entity . We recognize the USA as a single entity. Yet I cannot understand the reason why my neighbour 50 km away has access to the USA market and I do not. Despite a parallel system of safety and contrl on food, the USA administration is not yet recognizing the EU as a Single entity. Despite the political decision last year, my beef produce is still not allowed to enter the USA market. I urge the US authorities to allow the export of European beef to the US market as soon as possible. The EU system of geographical indications (GIs) which protects European quality produce from imitations must also be acknowledged. And so far we have seen little progress here”, he said.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen is meanwhile concerned about the fact that all fruit and vegetables products have to go through only one port, the one of Philadelphia. In comparison, the US fruits and vegetable can be exported quickly and reach all the 500 million consumers via all the ports. Those types of non-tariff barrier prohibit opportunities for small and medium companies to benefit from market opportunities.

The move comes during the 11th round of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the EU and US

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