'Don’t throw EU farmers overboard': MEPs say new trades must work for EU farmers too
Potential trade deals with Australia and New Zealand must uphold high EU standards and protect vulnerable EU producers, European Parliament Agriculture Committee has said.
Ambitious, balanced and comprehensive free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand that would fully respect high EU’s social, production, environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards, protect Union’s vulnerable agricultural sectors and safeguard large enough list of geographically protected EU foodstuffs could be beneficial for both parties, Agriculture MEPs said on Monday in two opinions for the International Trade Committee, which will prepare a draft Parliament′s position for future trade talks with both countries.
Don’t throw EU farmers overboard
Both countries have relatively small markets for EU exports but competitive export-oriented farming sectors, say MEPs warning against the risk of serious imbalances of the agreement to the detriment of EU farmers.
EU’s agricultural sector must not be used as a bargaining chip to secure increased access for other products to markets of Australia and New Zealand, they insist.
Exclude sensitive products and negotiate safeguard clauses
Opening-up of the market in certain sensitive products, such as dairy, beef, sheep and veal, could damage EU producers by exposing them to excessive and unsustainable pressure, say MEPs.
They therefore call for transitional measures and appropriate quotas, insist on safeguard measures in case of a surge in imports, and suggest excluding the most sensitive sectors from negotiations.