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Coalition: Ag must be part of U.S.-Euro trade agreement

Any U.S.-European free trade agreement should be comprehensive and include agriculture, an ad hoc coalition of 40 food and agricultural organizations led by the National Pork Producers Council said in a letter sent today to the Obama administration and Congress.

The coalition letter says that the removal of unjustifiable EU sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions on U.S. food and agricultural products would have to be an important part of the overall goal of improving the bilateral U.S.-EU relationship to win support from agriculture groups.
R.C. Hunt

R.C. Hunt
“Some non-agricultural members of the business community have suggested that a U.S.-EU FTA negotiation should not be pursued as a ‘single undertaking’ with success in one area dependent on success in all the others," said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C.

“The agriculture community, however, believes that, rather than creating a high-standard 21st century trade agreement that is central to the administration's trade policy efforts, approaches other than a single undertaking would assure the perpetuation of trade barriers to many U.S. products and sectors, including agriculture,” Hunt said.

“The EU’s free-trade deals with other countries do not meet the high standards of U.S. trade agreements,” added Nicholas Giordano, NPPC’s vice president and counsel for international affairs, “and we doubt that the EU would ever agree to open its market to agricultural commodities unless it was obliged to do so as part of a comprehensive trade agreement.”

March 21, 2012 – Open Letter on Transatlantic Trade