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Thursday 19 July 2018

Hogan denies EU offered South Americans access for 98,000t of beef

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan. Image: EU
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan. Image: EU
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has vehemently denied reports that the EU has offered access to the European market for up to 98,000t of beef from Mercosur trading bloc.

The European Union is pushing to conclude free trade talks with South American bloc Mercosur by the end of the year,  despite reservations from a number of Member States over the surge of farm imports an agreement would bring.

At the last round of negotiations the EU is understood to have offered to allow 70,000t of beef and 600,000t of ethanol to enter the EU with lower tariffs.

Speaking following a meeting of European Agriculture Ministers in Brussels yesterday, Commissioner Hogan said confirmed the EU’s commitment to a balanced, comprehensive and ambitious agreement.

“There is another round of discussions taking place this week. Work remains to be done not least of issues of key interest to the EU.

“I want to assure all concerned that every offer of sensitive products made by the EU is calibrated by taking account of all relevant elements including the cumulative impact and effect of past and future free trade agreements.”

Hogan said there is no substance what so ever to the 98,000t that was allegedly offered to Mercosur.

However, the Minister for Agriculture and farming organisations said they were concerned about the prospect of a trade deal.

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‘Grave concerns’

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed expressed his concern about a Mercusor trade deal that could seriously disadvantage the Irish and European beef sector at the meeting.

Minister Creed said: “I have grave concerns about the offer of a beef tariff rate quota in last month’s round of discussions which gives rise to potentially very serious consequences for the Irish and EU beef sector in particular.

“This comes at a time when that market is in a delicate balance and is already faced with the potentially very serious consequences of Brexit,” he said.


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