Study Shows Ag Sensitivities to EU Trade Agreements

EU - The European Commission has presented a study to EU agriculture ministers this week on the impacts of 12 future trade agreements on the agri-food sector, highlighting sensitive products such as beef.
calendar icon 17 November 2016
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The report includes specific results for producer prices and production volumes for a range of products accounting for 30 per cent of the value of the EU exports in the sector.

The study focuses on 12 yet to be implemented trade agreements, ranging from some that have already been negotiated (Canada, Vietnam), to some at various stages of negotiation or yet to be negotiated.

Significant gains are anticipated for the EU dairy and pig meat sectors, two sectors which have struggled in recent years and which are now showing signs of recovery. On the other hand, the study shows vulnerabilities for beef and rice, both in terms of trade effects and a decline in producer prices.

The extent of the impact for these different products varies depending on whether one looks at the more "ambitious" (full trade liberalisation of 98.5 per cent of all products, and a partial tariff cut of 50 per cent for the remaining products) or more "conservative" (full liberalisation of 97 per cent, and 25 per cent tariff cut for the others) scenarios of the study.

Commenting on the study, Vice President Jyrki Katainen said: "This study shows that there are sensitivities, however, it focuses on only one part of agricultural sector and does not measure a number of agri-food products which have significant export growth potential.

"This balance is fully reflected in the EU's trade negotiating strategy, in which we seek to protect our vulnerable sectors through measures such as tariff rate quotas, while maximising our positive interests whenever possible."

It is expected that a further discussion on the report will take place in the Agriculture Council under the Maltese Presidency in January.

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