On Monday President Obama, European Commission President Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy announced the United States and the European Union (EU) would launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement starting the week of July 8.
In a joint statement, the leaders said the TTIP would aim to, among other things:
Thad Lively, U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president for trade access, said he expects the EU will be prepared to offer tariff concessions on agricultural products, including beef, pork and lamb, in exchange for improved access to the U.S. market for its non-agricultural sectors. American lamb could be shipped to the EU under a small quota but needs approval of the "non-hormone use status first."
Peter Orwick, American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) executive director, stated, "The EU has massive tariff-rate quota restrictions on lamb imports as well as historical billion dollar subsidy support for its sheep farmers. ASI commented to the U.S. negotiators that the industry in most interested in access to export U.S. lamb and reduce barriers for our existing wool and wool pelt exports."
ASI coordinated a report with the Australian sheep industry on the benefits of fully opening the European market to lamb imports.
Reprinted in part from MeatingPlace.com