AFBF Delegation Aims to Reduce Trade Barriers AbroadMon, 15 Sep 2014 17:58:20 CDT
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman is leading a delegation of the organization's leaders to Europe this week to discuss efforts to increase trade through comprehensive agreements that would reduce, if not eliminate, government-imposed barriers to agricultural trade.
"Regulatory barriers, particularly those not grounded in scientific standards, have limited the flow of agricultural trade between the U.S. and EU markets for too long," AFBF President Bob Stallman said.
The American Farm Bureau Trade Advisory Committee, chaired by Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap, will meet with World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo, as well as with the WTO director of agriculture and commodities, and trade ambassadors from Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, China and Canada.
Following the meeting in Geneva, the group will travel to Brussels to meet with EU officials to discuss the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership. The TTIP negotiations aim to expand the world's largest commercial relationship with $1 trillion of trade in goods and services annually and $3.7 trillion in two-way direct investment between the United States and EU member nations. The U.S. exported $12 billion in agricultural products to the EU in 2013 while the EU exported $17.3 billion in agricultural products to the U.S.
"U.S. farmers and ranchers are ready for commitments that result in real actions to open market access and limit trade disruptions," Stallman said. Before the U.S. considers reductions in or limitations on domestic support for U.S. agriculture, negotiations must yield an important net gain for U.S. farmers and ranchers through commitments on market access and on trade-distorting policies by our trading partners.
Other members of the Farm Bureau trade delegation include: Nevada Farm Bureau President Hank Combs, Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke, Montana Farm Bureau President Bob Hanson, Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill, Wyoming Farm Bureau President Perry Livingston and Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach.
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