Farm Ireland

Saturday 21 April 2018

Vigilance must be kept on trade deals

Patrick Kent
Patrick Kent
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed warned vigilance must be maintained over the ongoing EU trade negotiations after officials rowed back on beef quotas.

Concerns have been raised after the publication of a ­technical report from Ecorys on the impact the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could have for people and businesses across Europe.

ICSA president Patrick Kent said that the draft findings demonstrate that beef farmers have every right to be concerned.

"The impact modelled by the report suggests that ruminant meats and other meats are the big losers while motor vehicles and textiles are the winners," he said, warning TTIP trade deal between the EU and US was "a serious threat" to European beef farming.

He said the analysis suggests a 0.5pc contraction in ruminant meats, but Ireland's €2.5bn beef industry was heavily export dependent.

Mr Creed said vigilance must be maintained despite the removal of the offer to allow 78,0000t of South American beef as part of a tariff rate quota on to the EU market as part of a separate Mercosur deal with Brazil and Argentina.

He said there were concerns about the "very severe impact" it would have, and vigilance must be maintained.

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