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EU Trade Negotiators: "Ag NOT Included"

14:39PM Jan 10, 2019
US European Union Trade

The United States and European Union share many common goals but do not have an official Free Trade Agreement in place( MGN )

China isn't the only trade meeting happening this week. The European Union's trade chief is in Washington meeting with U.S. and Japanese trade leaders.  

While the scope of the trade negotiations hasn't been agreed on yet, the EU trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, says one thing will not be included in the talks.

"We have said that we are willing to include tariffs on all industrial goods, autos included, if the Americans should wish them but, we have been very clear that from the EU side we are not going to discuss agriculture," says Malmstrom. 

Malmstrom says the position goes back to the statement by the two presidents on the 27th of July last year that agricultural would not be included in these latest discussions.

Officials with the EU hope the talks will stop President Trump from slapping 25 percent tariffs on European auto imports, that would mostly affect Germany. 

While agriculture was not directly discussed there were talks regarding the World Trade Organization and its effectiveness. The teams released a joint statement following the first day of discussions. 

In today's meeting, the Ministers discussed in particular:

On concerns with non-market oriented policies and practices, Ministers took stock of the intensification of the exchange of information between them, the identification of additional criteria indicating market-oriented conditions, and confirmed that market-oriented conditions are fundamental to a fair, mutually advantageous global trading system and that their citizens and businesses operate under market-oriented conditions. The Ministers also confirmed their commitment to continue working together to maintain the effectiveness of existing WTO disciplines, including through ongoing WTO disputes.

This week reports indicate there's been a 112 percent rise in U.S. soybean imports to the EU during the second half of last year.

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