US ambassador again demands that agriculture be part of EU trade talks
US ambassador has again repeated the line that agriculture had to be part of plans for trade negotiations with the European Union.
Gordon Sondland, however, did acknowledge that the two sides could build up deals piece by piece, as long as they did move though the issues.
But, the U.S. ambassador to the EU said on Thursday that the European Union’s plans for trade negotiations with the United States fall far short of what is required and any idea of delaying formal talks would not work,.
The European Commission, which negotiates trade deals on behalf of the 28 EU countries, has presented two negotiating mandates to governments for approval, one on reducing tariffs on industrial goods, the other on making it easier for companies to clear their products for sale on both sides of the Atlantic.
“The mandate that is being circulated falls far short of what even (Commission) President Juncker and President Trump discussed in July in Washington. The idea was to have a wide-ranging conversation about all aspects of our relationship,” Gordon Sondland told an AmCham business conference in Brussels.
EU negotiators have said they do not want to include agriculture in the bilateral discussions, one of a series of negotiations the United States has kicked off to secure better terms of trade.
Speaking to attendees of a U.S. Department of Agriculture annual forum recently, Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office Gregg Doud said it was “high time” for the EU to “get with the program” on issues like biotechnology, or genetically engineered ingredients known as GMOs.
“I can’t express my frustration with European agricultural and the way they deal with things like biotechnology, the way they deal with things like beef hormones,” USTR official Gregg Doud told attendees at USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum.