US pork producers blame EU for making TTIP “more uncertain”

US pork producers have said they want to achieve the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers on US pork exports to the EU as part of the long-running TTIP negotiations and have voiced growing frustration that the future of the talks is now “more uncertain” than ever.

The US comments, published as part of the country’s National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) review of industry activities covered during the week to October 7, state that the latest round of talks on TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), held in New York City, made “little progress” with US negotiators “even rejecting an EU request for three days of agriculture talks”.

“NPPC supports the TTIP but is sceptical of progress being made on it based on the intransigence of the EU on various issues,” it said. “The 28-country bloc is willing to eliminate tariffs on nearly all goods, for example, but it announced publicly it is unwilling to eliminate them on beef, poultry and pork.

“The EU has indicated it would allow some market access for ‘sensitive’ products, including meat, if the US accedes to the EU’s demands on reciprocal access and on protections for products labelled with geographical indications, such as Cognac, Roquefort cheese and Parma hams.

“NPPC wants in the TTIP the same deal it has in the 20 other free trade agreements the US has concluded and in the recently finalised Trans-Pacific Partnership: namely the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers on U.S. pork exports.

“The future of the TTIP now is more uncertain. Last month, EU trade ministers expressed doubts about getting the trade deal completed before the end of the Obama administration (Jan. 20), and several called for a pause in negotiations. No talks are scheduled beyond October.”

NPPC consists of 43 state associations and is designed to “fight for reasonable legislation and regulations, developing revenue and market opportunities, and protecting the livelihood of America’s 68,000 pork producers”.

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