A coalition of U.S. food and agricultural organizations reiterated today that any trade deal between the United States and the European Union (EU) must include agriculture and that the EU must address non-tariff trade barriers.
In a letter signed by 60 organizations sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the coalition said it is important that any Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU be comprehensive and address impediments to trade in agricultural products. The coalition sent a similar letter in January.
"Carried out properly," wrote the coalition to U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk, "a U.S.-EU FTA would generate economic growth and create many thousands of new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic."
That means negotiating a high-standard, 21st-century agreement, something that has been central to the Obama administration trade policy, the coalition pointed out. But that is not the type of agreements the EU has negotiated with other trading partners.
"We cannot help but be skeptical that the EU is prepared to undertake a U.S.-style comprehensive negotiation and to include the agricultural sector," the coalition wrote.