by Ken Root and Whitney Newman
Ag groups lined up to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but haven’t been as vocal in their support of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union. Representatives from many of the groups told Agri-Pulse they were concerned an agreement with the EU would have to include too many concessions to get over the finish line.
Ambassador Darci Vetter, the chief agricultural negotiator with the office of the U.S. Trade Representative says, “I think U.S. Agricultural support is a key factor here because I have yet to see a trade agreement that passed without it. So, we also have a process under TPA that set some very clear objectives for what a U.S. agreement has to look like. We obviously will be following that direction as we craft this agreement and try to move forward.
Much like Japan agreed to open up their sacred products in TPP negotiations, Vetter says there is a chance EU officials could be open to a wide range of discussions. It looks to be unlikely that the Obama administration will be around to finish up the talks. Vetter says, that there will be a delay in installing a new USTR team no matter who is elected.