Sunday, March 03, 2019

US opens offensive on agricultural trade

The United States is playing hardball on agricultural trade as part of any future US-UK trade deal after Brexit. Last week the office of the US trade representative (in effect, America's trade minister) issued a document that said the US was seeking 'comprehensive market access for US agricultural goods in the UK' through the reduction or elimination of tariffs. The US is also looking for the removal of 'unwanted barriers' related to 'sanitary and phytosanitary' standards.

The US Ambassador followed up with an article in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday which said that the UK risked getting trapped in the EU's 'museum of agriculture' approach: Smears on US farms

The EU has shown itself more than capable of innovation in agriculture with a new era opening up with the digital revolution. However, what the so-called 'museum of agriculture' about is a vision for European farming which emphasises the production of high quality products in an environmentally sensitive way, including observing animal welfare standards. An ecosystems compatible agriculture reflects the preferences of European consumers and voters who have no enthusiasm for corporate, industrialised American models.

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