Europe Claims It's Willing to Negotiate Trade Terms with US, But are They Really Serious About ThatThu, 16 Aug 2018 10:19:41 CDT
It’s been a few weeks since President Trump stood together with the head of the European Union at the White House and announced that the EU would begin engaging the US in talks on better trade arrangements for American agricultural products. Kent Bacus, director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says he is cautiously optimistic about this news. He told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently that given Europe’s reputation in matters of trade- he’ll believe it when he sees it.
“Europe is a notorious violator of WTO (World Trade Organization) agreements of all kinds of science-based trade terms. You’re talking about decades of violations from these guys” he said. “So, Europe really is a bad actor when it comes to the way they treat other countries.”
According to Bacus, Europe has always seemed to demonstrate that what is good for the goose, is not necessarily so for the gander- imposing unfair restrictions on other nations around the world, yet never making any concessions that might “water down” their own barriers and align them with more objective trade standards. Especially when it comes to agriculture, Bacus says the EU is extremely hesitant to enter into any negotiations at all. A perfect example being a WTO decision in favor of the US against Europe on the matter of hormone use in livestock. While this is a widely used and perfectly safe production practice, Bacus says the EU refuses to budge. While no action has been taken yet to show an intention of keeping the promises made to President Trump, Bacus says the pressure that the White House has put on the EU is at least a step in the right direction.
“I think it’s positive to see the Administration saying, ‘Hey… you want to talk? You don’t want these car tariffs coming on? You’re going to have to work with us on ag…’ That’s good, we support taking a firm position them,” Bacus remarked. “Europe has proven they are not going to be a good trading partner, so we’ve got to play hard ball with them.”
Listen to Bacus and Hays analyze the trade relationship between the US and Europe and what that might mean for American agriculture, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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