US REFUSES to bow to EU demands to keep their nose out of European farming


On Friday the US signalled it desire not bow to the pressure from Brussels when it published negotiating objectives that quest after comprehensive EU access for American farm products.

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstron told the US job representative Robert Lighthizer that the bloc could not negotiate on agriculture in a new, myriad limited set of negotiations due to start later this year.

Speaking to stringers in Washington on Wednesday following a meeting with Mr Lighthizer Ms Malmstrom held the US and the EU had not yet agreed on the scope of the talks.

She said: “We have made very open agriculture will not be included.”

It follows on from the collapsed US/EU talks for the Trans-Atlantic Switch and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which were scrapped after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

Agriculture was amidst the major stumbling blocks for TTIP negotiators.

In a bid to thaw tensions, Mr Trump and EU president Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to re-launch analyses last summer with the aim of slashing tariffs on industrial goods and decree ways for Europe to buy more American soybeans.

US lawmakers such as Chuck Grassley, Senate business committee chairman and a farmer, said the deal might not be supported if it did not embrace agriculture.

The objectives published by the US this week are required by Congress below the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority law. The talks may be formally launched in as no as 30 days.

The US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office said they request to reduce or eliminate EU tariffs on US farm products and break down non-tariff blocks.

They also said they will work to guarantee that Europe resolve refrain from imposing duties on digital downloads of American software, cinemas, music and other products, as well as seek assurances that cross-border information flow will not be hindered.

In December, American farm, food and beverage bands argued for their products to be included in negotiations.

The United States had a $151 billion goods loss with the EU in 2017, despite two-way annual trade of about $1.1 billion.

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