US set to ramp up pressure on EU for greater access to agricultural markets
The US will soon start to up its pressure on the EU to include agriculture in the ongoing trade talks, trade analysts have predicted.
Analysts at the Eurasia group say that the deadline will be "impossible to achieve", given the EU is currently in post-election mode, and that horse-trading for top jobs at the Commission has only just begun.
They predict that the "greater access to the EU's agricultural markets is one of the key reasons the US agreed to the talks and will be critical for securing congressional approval for any agreement," the group said in a note earlier this month. "So, although agriculture is not part of the EU's negotiating mandate, the implicit understanding is that the subject needs to be discussed at a later stage when enough progress has been made on less controversial topics."
France opposed the opening of even limited trade talks with the US in April, (over the US pulling out of the Paris climate agreement), though it did not stop the talks going ahead.
Activists and citizens have a tradition of opposing EU-US trade talks, as they did with the former Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which was shelved after President Donald Trump's election in 2016.
While ongoing negotiations are limited to product conformity and tariffs on industrial goods - a strict mandate agreed in April - tensions are likely to boil over when a separate deadline for concluding a deal on car tariffs comes up in six months' time.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has just announced a $16bn emergency aid package for US farmers, the second such fund since last July. The money is to help with the fallout of ongoing trade tensions, particularly with China.
For Stories Like This and More
Download the Free Farming Independent App