In this file:


·         EU-U.S. Trade Talks Expected to Begin This Week 

·         EU commissioner says agriculture not on agenda for U.S. talks

·         Why the New U.S.-EU Trade Talks May Be Doomed Before They Even Start



EU-U.S. Trade Talks Expected to Begin This Week


North American Meat Institute (NAMI)

May 9, 2019


Negotiators from the European Union (EU) are in Washington this week to begin technical trade talks with the U.S., although both sides have not yet agreed to the scope of the discussions. 


This week's talks will mostly focus on regulatory cooperation ahead of a meeting between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom in Paris on May 22-23. 


Last month, the EU adopted negotiating directives on two agreements: a trade agreement limited to the elimination of tariffs for industrial goods only, excluding agricultural products, and an agreement on conformity assessment that would have as its objective the removal of non-tariff barriers.


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EU commissioner says agriculture not on agenda for U.S. talks


Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Tom Hogue, Reuters 

May 9, 2019


TOKYO (Reuters) - The European Union intends to keep agriculture off the agenda in its trade talks with the United States and continues to support rules-based, open and predictable international commerce, the EU’s agriculture commissioner said on Friday.


A free trade agreement between the European Union and Japan is the “benchmark and ceiling” for the EU’s negotiations with the United States for a trade pact, Phil Hogan said.


Hogan, a former Irish government minister, also urged the United States to reverse tariffs on goods from China and the EU and return to a more “benign” system of global trade.


“Agriculture should be excluded from negotiations with the United States,” Hogan said.


“The fact that the European Union and Japan have a very good agreement will operate as the benchmark ... to what is achievable between the EU and the United States.”


Hogan, who spoke to journalists at a press conference, is in Japan for a Group of 20 agriculture ministers’ meeting.


The EU indicated last month it is ready to start talks with the United States on only two areas: cutting tariffs on industrial goods and making it easier for companies to show products meet EU or U.S. standards.


This stance puts Brussels at loggerheads with Washington, which has insisted on including farm products in the talks.


U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is seeking better terms of trade with the EU, as well as China, Japan, Canada and Mexico.


In some cases the U.S. has raised tariffs on goods in response to trade practices it considers unfair, which has roiled financial markets and slowed the global economy.


The EU is already facing U.S. tariffs on its steel and aluminum exports and the threat of higher U.S. tariffs on products ranging from large commercial aircraft and parts to dairy products and wine...





Why the New U.S.-EU Trade Talks May Be Doomed Before They Even Start


By David Meyer, Fortune

May 7, 2019


By the middle of last year, the U.S. had hit the European Union with steel and aluminum tariffs, the EU had responded with counter-tariffs on American goods, and some feared the situation could escalate into a full-blown trade war.


But then U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had a meeting and emerged with an agreement—the two sides would try to strike a new free-trade deal to give their countries easier access to each other’s markets.


The good news: preliminary talks are finally starting this week, more than nine months after that agreement. The bad news: the talks are probably already doomed before they start.


That’s in part because of a long-running catch 22: the U.S. won’t contemplate a deal that doesn’t include agricultural goods, and the EU, keen to protect its own farmers and maintain food standards, refuses to allow a deal that does include them.


Intractable problem


The biggest problem facing the fresh trade negotiations is that of food.


“The United States has made it clear to the EU on many occasions that a trade agreement between the United States and the EU needs to include agriculture if the agreement is to get support in Congress,” said a U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) official Monday.


The EU has long opposed opening the way for more U.S. farm foods to come into the bloc. This is partly to protect Europe’s small farmers from their larger U.S. competitors, and partly to keep out food that has been heavily genetically modified or—like chlorinated chicken—treated in ways that fall short of EU sanitary standards.


France in particular strongly resists any deal that includes agricultural goods, and France is one of the EU’s most influential members.


Trump’s Word ...


Business hopes ... 


Other problems ...


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