The EU currently exports €15-16 billion in agriculture a year to the US; this creates a trade surplus of roughly €6 billion. The US represents the EU's largest market for food products and second largest for agriculture products. By reducing barriers, there is great potential for increasing trade.
The EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, recently spoke in the UK to say, 'When it comes to EU negotiations with the USA, I will be proactive in promoting the opening of this important market to high quality EU products. However, I will not compromise on EU food quality or traceability standards. I can assure you that this principle will be upheld across the Commission and will be fully reflected in our negotiations with the US.'
Concerns have been raised about the price volatility of the agriculture market. However, prior trade and agriculture liberalisation has been shown to soften price volatility due to the increased market size. Those markets and countries that are more removed from trade are heavily dependent on the weather and individual circumstances, this means their output is significantly less stable.
For Bovine Farmers access to the US market has been particularly difficult, with US authorities still not allowing full and free access to the US market. This has depressed the EU’s export of beef to the US. This reticence is even worse for Lamb and Venison farmers who currently cannot export their meat to the US.
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