USGC Outlines Key Policy Priorities At T-TIP Stakeholder Event

President Barack Obama’s announcement in Germany earlier this week that he believes the United States and European Union can strike a deal on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) by the end of 2016 put additional focus on the latest round of U.S.-EU negotiations happening in New York.

As part of the negotiations, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) participated in a U.S.-EU Direct Stakeholder Engagement Event and chief negotiators briefing on April 28, focusing on the EU’s authorization system to approve biotech events.

T-TIP is a high-standard, 21st century agreement that has the potential to address market access issues and non-tariff barriers such as the challenges of asynchronous biotechnology approvals; the need for a workable low-level presence (LLP) policy in the EU; and provide for a more transparent EU biotech approval process.

“T-TIP represents the best opportunity we have to resolve agricultural market access issues on both sides of the Atlantic,” said USGC Director of Trade Policy and Biotechnology Floyd Gaibler, who spoke on behalf of the Council and its members at the New York meeting. “To do this, we need a transparent and predictable biotech trait approval process that is based on sound science.”

While the European Commission approved 19 import authorizations for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in April 2015, the EU’s process and procedures for biotech approval are still lagging.

“We stand ready to work together to achieve greater market access for both the EU and the United States,” Gaibler said. “Success is critical not only for our respective food and agriculture sectors but both our economies as T-TIP has the potential to boost U.S. trade with the EU by more than $120 billion within five years, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

For U.S. agriculture, the elimination of tariffs and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures would level the playing field providing significant benefits. The Council recognizes this and will continue to give its stakeholders a voice at the negotiating table.

Click here to read past Global Update articles on T-TIP.