Trade in 2019: high stakes amid high uncertainty

January 2019

One thing is certain about what trade brings to the EU agri-food sector in 2019 – high-stake issues and a high level of uncertainty on how they will unfold.

The two major trade issues that could have a large impact on the sector in 2019 are the EU-US trade relations and Brexit (Mercosur will likely linger on following the election of Bolsonaro in Brazil).

We have dwelt with Brexit at large in our previous analysis and in our Global Food Forum. The impact of a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic to many, and anything else than the UK staying in the customs union would negatively impact EU exports and raise concerns on increased imports from third countries. Stakes are high and uncertainty even higher. The moment of truth is fast approaching with the Brexit date set for 29th March, and we will no doubt come back to it shortly.

The other major trade issue concerns the EU/US trade relations, and this will be the main focus of our comments today.

The trade relations deteriorated sharply with the unilateral application by the US of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU (and others). That was followed by threats from the US to target with additional tariffs imports of cars and auto-parts from the EU. The aim of the US is to rebalance the log on trade in goods with the EU, and it is applying pressure through threatening to resort to trade protectionist measures or stretching its ability to do so under WTO rules.

The negative turn in the trade relations came to a thaw mid last year, with a commitment to negotiate freer trade and tackle non-trade barriers, and an additional commitment by the EU to import more soybeans and natural gas. The scope of the agreement has been contested from the beginning, with the EU adamantly refusing to include agriculture in the free trade talks, and the US asking for the opposite. The European Commission has still to present its draft negotiation mandate, and the US its negotiation objectives, but the odds are that the scope will differ, which does not bode well for the future of the talks.

Why has the truce been agreed and why has it hold so far? The answer should be found in the state of another big trade dispute, even more acute, between the US and China. The US has applied additional tariffs on a large part of Chinese imports, and China retaliated in kind. The US has a number of claims against China’s practices that are largely shared in the US and around the world, including in the EU, and the current Administration seems determined to obtain significant changes from China.

What the US tactically cannot afford is to fight at the same time two big trade battles – one against China and the other against the EU. The US seems determined to address its main concern (China) first, which led to the truce currently holding with the EU.

Recently however there are signs that the US and China are making some progress in finding an agreement. Talks are on-going, and the Chinese have given signs of goodwill by re-opening imports of US soybeans and approving a number of GMO varieties for US exports. The fact that the Chinese economy is not in good shape, is more dependent on trade than the US economy, and the one-party regime stability hangs on the economic welfare of the country is certainly a factor pushing Beijing towards accommodation. The self-imposed deadline is the 1st March. The outcome is uncertain, and either an agreement is found or the US has threatened to ramp-up the duties against Chinese imports.

Meanwhile the US Department of Commerce is set to present the result of its investigation on cars and auto-parts imports by mid-February. The investigation will be assorted by proposals and it is expected that additional tariffs will be included.

Where do we stand in this high stake, high uncertainty, trade dispute?
If the US and China find an agreement, the US will be in good shape and have freer hands to engage with the EU. Although ramping-up pressure on the EU does not enjoy the wide level of support in the US as pressing China, it would most likely come in with a choice for the EU between negotiating a trade deal potentially favorable to the US or face additional tariffs on some imports (no doubt cars).

In this scenario the pressure on the EU to negotiate a TTIP-light, including agriculture but excluding a number of other contentious issues like investment and public procurement, would be very strong. And the pressure of Germany, the main loser if cars are targeted, on France and others to agree on those terms would be as strong.

If the EU does not blink and keeps its current position of rejecting the inclusion of agriculture in the negotiations, amongst other disagreements on the scope of the talks, the probability of tariffs being unilaterally imposed by the US on EU cars and auto-parts increases, and with it the likelihood of EU retaliatory measures. A trade war who no-one knows where it would stop would follow, and a second round of trade retaliation could target EU exports of agri-food products, like wine, cheese and other products.

If the US and China fail to find an agreement, the EU might enjoy the current truce further. The European Commission is adroitly joining the US and Japan in pressing China at WTO, which might help in avoiding more conflict and trying to bring back trade disputes to the multilateral WTO, rather than letting the bilateral power struggles decide.

The indirect impact of the US-China trade wars would still be felt in the EU, partly as an opportunity to increase exports to China, but partly negatively as the Chinese and world economies would suffer to a certain extent. But for the agri-food sector that is a relatively minor risk compared with a US-EU generalized trade conflict, or a TTIP-light heavy on agricultural concessions. Worth recalling that the US is the EU’s top destination representing 16% of the EU28 agri-food exports, 22bn euros in 2017 with an EU positive trade balance of 11bn euros.

Uncertain times. And high stakes.


The US Congress adopted a new 5-year Farm Bill that enhances the commodity programs and crop insurance tools previously available to US farmers, in a sharp contrast to the European Commission CAP proposals that drastically cut the budget and support to EU farmers.

The new US Farm Bill increases support across the board. It increases most loan rates for commodities like cereals (wheat, maize, rice, etc), oilseeds (soybeans), cotton, sugar and others like peas and lentils.  It opens up the possibility to increase the reference prices for the insurance program Price Loss Coverage and improves the Agriculture Risk Coverage calculated yields.

Last but not least it boosts the dairy revenue insurance by sharply reducing the premiums for the smallest producers – below on average 240 cows, yes 240 this is not an error, this reflects the size of dairy holdings in the US- and increasing the level of protection for all farmers amongst other improvements.

The new Farm Bill also increases resources for environmental protection, and for export promotion programs.

Thus, the number one competitor of EU farmers gets a significant boost from the State budget the moment when EU farmers face the opposite – a reduction of 12% in real terms of the CAP budget proposed by the Commission.

Two sides of the Atlantic, two different tales. The US Farm Bill is built around tools that do not fit the EU model and needs, but it is striking that the US increases support when the European Commission proposes sharp cuts even when the sector faces stagnant incomes and dire prospects for the future.

The US farmers will have an even more robust set of tools to improve their resilience to market shocks and climatic events, whilst the EU farmers who have little of it would in the future have even less according to Commission’s proposals.

The EU model has done away with countercyclical payments that compensate farmers when prices drop, which led in the past to waste and alienated the sector from market signals and export markets, which concentrates public support in most productive areas and farms, and it should not emulate the US model in that respect.

But the CAP has not provided sufficient resilience tools to absorb climatic and market shocks. We need more climatic and income insurance and mutual funds, we need a real and well-funded crisis management fund – but that will not happen without CAP support.

We also need to do more to protect at the same time the environment and to improve the economy of the sector, which suffers from lower to negative productivity, compromising the future of farmers incomes and the sustainability of the sector. That will not come either without well targeted CAP support on double performance investments.

Will this new US Farm Bill make the European Commission re-adjust its CAP proposals and funding? If not the current Commission, the next? Will it ring alarm bells in capitals all too willing to let farm support go down? Will it energize the European Parliament to raise in defense of the EU agriculture sector?

We can only hope so. Otherwise our future seems more compromised.





The good news is that an agreement was found on the Brexit transition period, lasting through end 2020. Till then the UK will be part of the EU Customs Union and Single Market, so there will be no disruptions to trade on agri-food products between the EU27 and the UK. Definitely that is good news, in the context of the inevitably of Brexit. It raises the prospects of a softer rather than a hard Brexit.

However the UK also obtained the right to negotiate and sign trade deals with third countries during the transition period. This means that as from 1.1.2021 the UK might open up its market to third countries under previously negotiated Free Trade Agreements. And most likely it will.

Even in the best scenario where there would be a Free Trade Agreement in place between the EU27 and the UK, the EU27 exports to the UK would face renewed competition, which can be determinant in such important sectors as beef, pork, poultry, dairy, sugar, wine, to mention a few. Inevitably EU27 exports would suffer.

A word of caution though: this relatively speaking best scenario is not guaranteed as formidable obstacles remain to an overall agreement – the Irish border issue being one that looks close to impossible to crack.

For the UK the possibility to negotiate and sign new trade deals whilst still in the EU Customs Union also adds leverage to its negotiating position, and gives comfort to those in the UK that are not prepared to accept post-Brexit terms that would keep the UK closely aligned with EU rules and decisions. They can argue that the UK can find alternatives to the EU27 market, and therefore should not yield too much on the post-Brexit terms of its relation with the EU.

The EU agri-food sector needs to be prepared to the upcoming events. The rosiest scenario means more competition and less exports to the UK, and the hard Brexit scenario means disaster.

Unfortunately that is not good news.


The recent agreement between the European Commission and the UK on the first phase of the Brexit negotiations is good news. Assuming that Brexit is not reversible, having the best possible understanding on the future relationship is in the interest of the EU27 and its agri-food sector.

The agreement on the first phase opens up the negotiations on the second phase, where the future trade relations will come on top of the priorities.

Should we therefore assume that everything is going smoothly and that the best possible deal is in sight?

I wouldn’t go so fast. It is true that the first phase agreement, under the form of a Joint Report, points to settling a number of important matters – the rights of EU and UK citizens living in the UK and the EU; and the bill the UK should pay on exiting the Union. I would have liked to add that that is also the case on the thorny issue of the soft Irish border, but I’m afraid I won’t go so far.

In a nutshell both parties agreed that they do not want to see a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. They are committed to finding a solution during the second phase of the negotiations that would guarantee such outcome. The UK added that even if no agreement is reached it will pursue “full alignment” with internal market rules, with a view to avoid the need for border controls.

But, and this is the first but, the UK also reaffirms that it will exit the internal market, and the customs union, and that that applies to the whole of the UK (including Northern Ireland).

Let us make a step back before going further. In order not to have a hard border, i.e. border controls, and allow goods to flow freely in Ireland, no customs duties should be applied to imports and exports, nor any form of quantitative restrictions. Incidentally, if no customs duties are applied there is no need for border controls for trade in goods nowhere between the EU27 and the UK, not only in Ireland. In addition goods should be mutually accepted as having either the same standards or equivalent standards.

There are a number of scenarios that would make that possible. The first is for the UK to accept and apply the EU rules, norms and standards. But, and here is the second but, the UK would have to become a willing rule-taker rather than a rule-maker. Do you see the British accepting it, exiting the EU but submitting to its rules without a voice on the decision making? I confess I don’t.

A second scenario would be for “full alignment” to mean mutual recognition across the board of each party rules and standards. Goods could flow freely. But as time goes by the domestic rules would tend to diverge, creating stress on the arrangements for mutual recognition. To give just an example, if the UK were to accept hormone treated beef, would the EU still accept that UK beef enters the EU through the Republic of Ireland unhindered?

In addition, would goods that the UK would have imported from third countries under new Free Trade Agreements flow freely into the EU27 market?

But, and here is the third but of the series, if there is no agreement and in the end there is a hard Brexit? Both parties would revert to their WTO tariffs, and customs duties should be applied to imports to the EU27 and to the UK. How could the UK guarantee no hard border in Ireland? How could the EU27 not re-install border controls in Ireland? The border in Ireland is the EU 27 border. Would the EU 27 accept free circulation of all goods coming from the UK through Northern Ireland? Even those that the UK would have imported from third countries, including under new UK-third countries new Free Trade Agreements? Brazilian sugar and meats, US meats, could flow freely to the EU 27 through the Republic of Ireland?

To conclude, I fail to see how the “full alignment” and other conditions to avoid re-installing a hard border in Ireland can be met if we get a hard Brexit. And even if we get a soft Brexit, free flow of goods to the EU27 through Ireland will become a big problem, in particular for the agri-food sector.

I very much doubt that what I just discussed is news to the negotiators on both sides. As in many difficult negotiations, and Brexit is one, there are issues that cannot be settled definitely. In order not to block progress in all areas of negotiation, formulae are found to accommodate sensibilities – a “fudge”.

In the thorny Irish border issue, yes we may well have to accept the present fudge in the Joint Report, and in the best of the worlds expect a deal that includes broad mutual recognition of rules and no tariffs nor quotas. After, as time goes by, we’ll see…

Meanwhile we have to focus on the trade negotiation side of Brexit. The fact that the UK will be honouring its budget dues till end 2020 gives a strong indication that it will be relatively easy to agree on a transition period to the same extent, giving a precious more two years for negotiators to finalize the deal. It will not be easy. The agri-food sector should however remain vigilant on the conditions that would apply to trade after Brexit, and ensure that it will not be exposed to duty and quota free imports from the rest of the world through the UK.



Dark clouds are gathering over the horizon, and they are not promising healthy showers. They rather risk bringing a storm that is gaining strength around the new US Administration intentions.

A border adjustment tax, or an internal revenue tax mechanism, is being considered to promote exports and tax imports.

Another tool being examined would tackle currency manipulations, whereby they could be considered as an unlawful subsidy and thus open to countervailing duties at the request of affected US firms.

It is too soon to say whether these measures will ever be implemented, and in which form. They might fail to pass Congress, or be fundamentally redesigned. But they might also pass and become US law.

Some of the issues are real, and previous attempts to address them in WTO fora have gone nowhere. Currency manipulation is clearly one, as it can distort trade more than the average tariff. The problem is how to define what currency manipulation is, and how to sanction it.

The EU has always privileged multilateral rules and actions, and its discomfort with these potential unilateral moves by the US is palpable and understandable.

But the reactions in Brussels are to say the least puzzling.

The Commissioner for Trade has signaled a rapprochement with China as a response to US unilateralism.

If the Commission is trying to pass the message to Washington that it has options and can realign its world trade, choosing China is not the best credible card to play as the US believes according to their own experience that this might not result into a balanced relationship.

The Commission is also threatening that the EU could challenge a US border adjustment tax. That is the right thing to do if you believe the new policy would be faulty under WTO rules, and if you bet you can deter the US from going ahead.

But there are limits to this strategy, as the Commission knows well that that would risk bringing the two big trade blocks into a collision course never seen before. With unforeseen consequences if it leads to a trade war.

The current situation, with its perceived threats and uncertainties, demands careful evaluation and assessment of options, rather than rushing into false alternatives.

The situation demands additional engagement to prevent measures against EU interests to be taken, and the evaluation of options that protect our interests, rather than confrontation or grand standing.




 This question is on the minds of many, farmers and others in the agri-food sector alike.

They question whether it is worthwhile to start debating, preparing a new CAP reform when the current policy is barely on its third year of implementation.

That does not mean that people think the current policy offers full satisfaction. It has failed to cope with sectorial crisis and increased price volatility. Its greening prescriptions are too bureaucratic and cumbersome when compared to its results. But it is predictable, it is well known, it provides helpful support to so many farmers, and secures supplies to the whole agri-food chain.

So it is understandable that many have “reform fatigue” and would prefer continuity rather than any change.

Unfortunately, change will inevitably come. It will come through Brexit and its impact on CAP budget allocation. It will come through increased competition for CAP resources from other EU policies, first and foremost again from environmental quarters.

The debate on the next EU Multi-Annual Financial framework that will decide on the post-2020 EU budget and its repartition amongst policy areas, is around the corner.

If those who want to see the CAP as THE European policy that promotes the future, and contributes to growth and environmental sustainability, stay silent or offer no new vision, others will step in and determine the future of the CAP.

This is not speculation, it’s already today’s reality. Some are already vocal on their demands for a further shift of the CAP away from economic policies into conservation policies.

The sector should come out loudly in favor of a better CAP. The call should not be for radical reform, but rather for a new vision that builds on making agriculture more competitive, that supports targeted investments with a double purpose of improving revenues and environmental sustainability, that better shields the sector against high volatility and crisis, and that drastically improves the strength of the sector in the marketing chain.

This new vision has to be defined collectively in 2017 and first actions have already to be taken through the so-called Financial Omnibus negotiation, notably on volatility and on a more balanced food chain.


Trade: where are we heading ?

Since the election of Donald Trump as the new US President the troubles facing big trade deals have reached a new stage.

The TPP was already before the election under strong opposition in the US Congress. Any hopes that he might still be ratified in the “lame duck season” have faded away, and its future is doubtful. If a TPP is ever ratified in the US, it will be a new TPP. And to renegotiate this TPP will not be an easy task, nor a quick one, if at all feasible.

Closer to our shores, TTIP was also facing strong opposition, but this time in the EU, not in the US. The US election adds to the uncertain fate of the deal. With a Clinton Administration a re-evaluation of TTIP followed by a relaunching of the negotiations was a likely prospect, but now talks are suspended and resumption of negotiations is a long-shot bid.

TTIP and TPP have joined the WTO Doha Round in the land of the walking dead…

Other trade deals are still being actively negotiated by the EU, namely with Japan and with Mercosur. Japan will likely reassess a number of elements in the deal, as TPP is out and Brexit is looming. Mercosur is willing to move forward but the head winds against trade deals are stronger in the EU than before.

Possible trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand were also on the Commission cards. The impact on the EU agriculture will be negative, whilst the interest in other sectors escapes me as being of any significant interest.

So where are we heading from here?

No big trade deals does not mean that trade will fade away as an important issue. EU agri-food exports bring wealth and jobs.

In the short to medium-term, at least in the next couple of years, it is probable that the US focus will turn towards enforcement of existing agreements. The US agriculture interests will be frustrated by the failure of TPP, and will be more forceful on asking for implementation of others’ obligations. This means more turbulence, and less predictability.

Again on our shores, hormones and GMOs are exposed to renewed US pressure. Both issues have however solutions within the range of what was already agreed or implemented.

Worth recalling that the EU agriculture has been on the receiving end of trade disputes which originated outside the sector. On hormones and GMOs EU farmers by far and large are not asking for restrictions or prohibitions that put them at a disadvantage. The Russian bans are a consequence of geopolitical disputes.

So the immediate future will likely bring more trade frictions, without the buffer of ongoing negotiations. But it could turn worst if those trade frictions evolve into actual trade wars, even if the EU is not a part of. The spillover of new trade barriers between major players would be felt across the world, and affect the EU export interests.


EU- MERCOSUR: Macri to make it happen?

If anyone would ask a few months ago whether the EU-MERCOSUR negotiations could be revitalized the answer would likely be: ” as much as the Doha Round”. It would have been hard to find an optimistic voice, for the trade talks seemed to be there hibernating for good.
There were however signs from Brazil that there was renewed interest in the deal, the only one sizeable deal open to Brazil. But with Argentina a very much protected and inward looking economy the prospects of revitalized talks were at most distant.

His agenda includes promoting trade, scrapping export taxes, making Mercosur an effective trade bloc again.

The election of a trade liberal President in Argentina changed everything. Macri is only the third non-Peronist President in the history of the country. His agenda includes promoting trade, scrapping export taxes, making Mercosur an effective trade bloc again. His political agenda may well mark a turning point in South America, away from ” bolivarianism” and left leaning Governments and towards more liberal/social policies.
With Macri in power the main obstacle in Mercosur to a trade agreement with the  EU vanishes. Uruguay has always been favourable. Paraguay will likely follow. Venezuela is out of the game (and if Macri is heard in Brasília and elections are rigged de facto out of Mercosur as well).
Brazil is now more amenable to negotiating than in the past decade. Brazil’s economy is in dire straits, in need of new markets to make good of the dramatic fall of the currency. The Ministers for Industry and Trade, and for Agriculture are very much in favour. Brazil will not seek to participate in an enlarged TPP due to its large rules and standard settings, leaving the EU as the sole realistic  option.

What was unlikely a couple of months ago becomes now a distinct possibility.

Does this all mean that EU Agriculture will now face TTIP and Mercosur at the same time (and if the Commission has its way also Australia and New Zealand)?
What was unlikely a couple of months ago becomes now a distinct possibility.
There are still unknowns. Macri does not enjoy a majority in both Chambers of Congress. He needs to push against likely fierce political resistance, and face tremendous economic problems left by decades of Peronist rule.
In Brazil, the President is in the weakest position a President ever had since the end of military rule. Will her Government survive? Will she fall?
The other unknown is how will the EU react. It would be difficult for the EU not to move ahead with a negotiation that started in the previous century and is stalled since 2004, if the other side is finally committed.

As for TTIP the vulnerable sectors are the meat sectors, beef in particular, and ethanol. The added difficulty will be sugar.

The EU is trying to push Mercosur to up its offer from 87 to 90% tariff coverage. It is not as yet clear whether offers will be exchanged still this year. But in the end if both Argentina and Brazil at the highest level want to move it will be very difficult to procrastinate, in particular as the Commission wishes to move also with Australia and New Zealand.
And what should the EU Agriculture sector do if negotiations speed ahead? As for TTIP the vulnerable sectors are the meat sectors, beef in particular, and ethanol. The added difficulty will be sugar, as Brazil is a very competitive and large producer.
But Mercosur has its own fragilities: wine in Brazil, dairy in Brazil and Argentina, olive oil in Argentina, processed products in both countries (from pasta to chocolate).
So the EU sector should expect more opening but not complete free trade in its sensitive sectors. To this one should add the fact that the level of ambition of the deal will be lower than for TTIP, as shown by the current debate on the tariff coverage of the offers. Which means probably lower quotas on sensitive products than in TTIP.
That being said, the inescapable fact is that the EU sector will face an even bigger challenge in the years ahead.
That gives added urgency to what Farm Europe has sustained: the CAP needs a forward looking review, and particular exposed sectors as beef need a comprehensive package of measures covering the whole chain. Farm Europe will not shy from advancing its proposals on how to meet these challenges.

EU/US TTIP: EU Agricultural interests deserve a dynamic and comprehensive approach

Event TTIP European ParliamentOn Wednesday the 14th of October, Farm Europe organised a public debate on the Transatlantic Trade

and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in the European Parliament, under the patronage of Mr. Paolo De Castro, Member of the European Parliament.

As the TTIP negotiations seem to enter a more dynamic cycle, Farm Europe presented 8key elements to be taken into account by EU negotiators in order to maintain a strong stance regarding European agriculture in the negotiation. Overall a trade negotiation with the US is certainly not as such a top-priority for EU agriculture, even though there are many potential offensive interests that could benefit to the EU economy as a whole. Taking into account the potential contribution of the TTIP to the overall EU economy and geopolitical aspects, it is necessary for EU agriculture to get prepared and opt for a rather dynamic approach.

Presenting the report, Joao Pacheco, Senior Fellow at Farm Europe, said: “the EU should not corner its agriculture into a defensive position nor keep a low profile defending only niche products that already have strong market positions in the US market. Geographical indications are indeed important for the EU agri-food sector – especially those playing a genuine role of locomotive on global markets. But market access of agri-food products as a whole should be addressed seriously to find a win-win balance inside the agricultural component of the negotiation as such. Last but not least, several sectors are potentially facing real threats trough this negotiation which should not be underestimated. Red lines should be tackled both via real safeguards introduced in the course of the negotiation and ambitious internal EU policies giving to the affected sectors the tools to adapt and close their competitive gap with US producers”.

Opening the event, Paolo De Castro said: “TTIP represents a crucial challenge for the European agri-food system. In this sense, in his position approved by large majority last July, the Parliament stressed both the risks and the opportunities for the sector, together with the need to defend our productions and food safety standards. We are confident that, thanks to this steering contribution, the next decisive steps will be finally taken in order to reach a successful agreement able give new impetus to EU agriculture, creating new market opportunities, jobs and employment”.

Farm Europe has identified eight key issues for agriculture in these negotiations, and outlined at the event our main positions and recommendations for each sector:

  1. Meat products: It is crucial to negotiate a limited Tariff Rate Quota instead of eliminating tariffs, with a long implementation period to ensure that the sector has enough time to structure itself. The European Commission should present a comprehensive plan to support the sector.
  2. Dairy products: The TTIP could lead to free trade in dairy products and to the elimination of regulatory trade barriers. However, additional protection for some EU Geographical Indications should be assessed economically to ensure that its benefits outweigh its costs for other areas of the agricultural negotiation.
  3. Grain and Oilseeds: Farm Europe expects that the TTIP could result in the elimination of tariffs in the grains and oilseeds sector. In this case, the EU biofuels policy should enable the EU biodiesel production to expand, rather than serve to constrain it, to allow the EU to compete on an equal footing with the US. The internal distortive mechanisms in force in the Farm Bill should be taken into account by EU negotiators for any concessions such as for wheat, to ensure a level playing field for the EU sector, and specific protections should be maintained for certain highly sensitive products, like rice.
  4. Starch and Ethanol: The EU industry needs time, an appropriate regulatory framework and safeguards to meet the competition from the US. Additionally, the costs and benefits of producing biofuels in the EU should be evaluated objectively, and an assessment should be made of its impact on the EU protein deficit, instead of succumbing to prejudice and targeted campaigns.
  5. Fruits and Vegetables, Nuts and Olive Oil: Free trade and the elimination of non-tariff barriers could generally be beneficial to these highly diversified sectors, as long as SPS barriers in the US are lifted.
  6. Wine and Beer: The EU should be offensive in this sector, building on its renewed competitiveness and concentrating its efforts on eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers in the negotiations.
  7. Sugar and other Processed Products: The elimination of EU sugar production quotas after 2017 points to a more ambitious EU position for sugar and sugar-containing products over the long term, as this reform will lead to the expansion of more competitive sugar production. Nevertheless, special attention should be paid to specific sugar products and the EU should strive for strict rules of origin.
  8. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues (SPS): Even excluding hormones and GMOs, other SPS issues can be successfully addressed and a mutually agreed solution can be found.

The full analysis can be downloaded here:

Farm Europe will also continue working on internal aspects of the agricultural policy. The capacity of the EU to adapt its Common Agricultural Policy to the real economic challenges faced by farmers will play a decisive role in the global competitiveness of the EU agri-food sector, thus deciding its ability to remain a key player on global markets.

Event TTIP European Parliament 2


TTIP: what is at stake for EU agriculture?

The EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations were launched on June 17, 2013. TTIP aims to create the largest Free Trade Area in the world, and to set a host of harmonised standards between the two largest trading blocks. These common standards could, by the sheer size of the trade affected, become the de facto new world standards. Read our briefing on the TTIP here