Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft, a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors, told the House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade that Farm Bureau supports increased market access for agriculture.
A major challenge presented in the current round of negotiations with Europe is not just the traditional tariff issues, but the even greater obstacles presented by technical barriers to enhanced trade.
"The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union
must deal with the many substantive issues that impede U.S.-EU agricultural trade," Shawcroft
Trade-related issues of concern to agriculture include long-standing barriers against conventionally raised U.S. beef, ongoing restrictions against U.S. poultry and pork and actions that limit U.S. exports of farm goods produced using biotechnology.
Further, "It is imperative that TTIP be a high-standard trade agreement that covers all significant barriers in a single, comprehensive agreement," Shawcroft
Scientific standards are the only basis for resolving these issues, Shawcroft
In describing how imposing non-tariff trade barriers can cause economic harm to U.S. agriculture, Shawcroft
pointed to Mexico's past use of sanitary- phytosanitary measures to block the importation of U.S. potatoes.
The recent addition of Japan as a full participant in the TPP talks enhances the significance of the negotiations and makes the agreement much more encompassing of North American goals for agricultural trade, Shawcroft
"As a member of the World Trade Organization
, U.S. agriculture must continue to seek a commercially meaningful outcome through expanded market access from WTO negotiations," Shawcroft