fb - voice of agriculture

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Launch of U.S.-EU Trade Negotiations

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 13, 2013 – “The beginning of comprehensive trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union holds the promise of expanded market access and an improved, science-based regulatory approach for agriculture and food. Farm Bureau is encouraged that some long-standing issues hindering trade between the U.S. and the EU, such as sanitary standards for beef, have lately been addressed. A constant commitment to removing barriers to agricultural trade is necessary in order to achieve a worthwhile agreement for U.S. agriculture.

“The misuse of sanitary and phytosanitary standards, including the EU’s restrictions on genetically engineered crops, has long been a tactic to impede trade.  We will look closely to these negotiations to move past this trade distorting tactic and fully embrace a rules-based trading system with standards based upon scientific assessment.

“Farmers and ranchers have been frustrated over the seemingly endless array of non-tariff barriers Europe applies to many of our agricultural commodities and products. We are cautiously hopeful that these negotiations will yield positive results for U.S. agriculture.”

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Contacts:   Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
tracyg@fb.org
  Cyndie Sirekis
(202) 406-3649
cyndies@fb.org