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U.S. and EU bicker of Ag’s inclusion in trade talks

Source: Wikimedia Commons

There has been much back and forth with the European Union (EU) on trade discussions yet to be had. The European Union has said they do not want to talk about agriculture, and the United States is insisting on it. Last week, both sides made their intentions clear.

More after this.

Back in July of last year, President Trump and European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker reached an agreement to negotiate for a better trade deal between the United States and the 28 country European Bloc.

Audio: President Trump announces trade understanding with EU, July 26th.

During those talks, there was an agreement for the EU to allow more imports of U.S. soybeans. Though a fixed amount was never discussed. You can find our report on the July meeting here.

Last Wednesday, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström again told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that they would not negotiate on agriculture. She told reporters, “We have made very clear agriculture will not be included.”

In response, on Friday, the United States published a list of negotiating topics. Agriculture was on the list. This was in response to calls from many farm organizations to include talks on Ag with the EU. Several influential farm state officials, including Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, threatened to withhold any support of any trade deals with the European Union which did not include agriculture.

There is much to iron out before a trade deal can be negotiated and agreed to. The United States and EU account for $1.1 trillion dollars’ worth of trade business.