TTIP Trade Negotiation Update

Jul 23, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen,

The sixth round of negotiations between the United States and the European Union on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) concluded earlier this month in Brussels, Belgium.

The trade talks ended with no significant breakthroughs and some of the key sticking points remain. For example, while the EU says it is willing to eliminate tariffs on almost all goods, it will not budge on eliminating barriers to meat, including beef, poultry and pork products. Furthermore, the EU also said that it will not change its rules on beef hormones and the feed additive known as ractopamine, which is commonly used in beef and pork production in the United States.

In the same regard, U.S. livestock groups are unhappy with the EU’s unwillingness to consider expanding its trade access to beef and poultry products. The National Pork Producers Council argues that non-tariff barriers should be removed on all meat products, including pork. The pork commodity group adds that the elimination of EU tariff and non-tariff measures are reasonable demands and align with other U.S. free trade deals.

According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hays, the elimination of trade barriers would dramatically increase U.S. pork exports to the EU, and is estimated to create more than 17,000 U.S. jobs.

The EU is the second largest market in the world for pork consumption, next to China, and is seen as a prime opportunity for U.S. pork exports. Interestingly, the U.S. exports more pork to Honduras than all of the EU’s 28 member countries combined.

The next round of trade negotiations have not yet been scheduled.

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