President Obama, European Commission President Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy Monday announced the official launch of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement. The first round will commence the week of July 8.
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, TTIP has the potential to further open EU markets and increase the $458 billion in goods and private services the U.S. already exported to the EU in 2012 alone.
Additionally, the policy would aim to eliminate all tariffs on trade and reduce the cost of differences in regulations and standards by promoting greater compatibility, transparency, and cooperation, while maintaining our high levels of health, safety, and environmental protection.
In response to the announcement, AFBF President Bob Stallman said Monday his group was "cautiously hopeful" that negotiations would yield positive results for U.S. agriculture.
The negotiation "holds the promise of expanded market access and an improved, science-based regulatory approach for agriculture and food. A constant commitment to removing barriers to agricultural trade is necessary in order to achieve a worthwhile agreement for U.S. agriculture," Stallman noted.
Specifically, AFBF has been concerned with EU's sanitary and phytosanitary standards, including the EU’s restrictions on genetically engineered crops, Stallman said.
"We will look closely to these negotiations to move past this trade distorting tactic and fully embrace a rules-based trading system with standards based upon scientific assessment," he explained.
The National Pork Producers also have an eye on negotiations, highlighting a recent economic study by Iowa State University's Dermot Hayes found that about 17,000 new jobs would be created in the U.S. based on projected exports to the EU.