EU’s exclusion of ag disappoints ASA

The American Soybean Association (ASA) says it’s disappointed with a European Union (EU) decision to exclude agriculture from negotiations over an EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Minnesota farmer and ASA vice president Bill Gordon says the EU’s non-tariff trade barriers need to be part of the discussions.

“There’s a lot of protectionism there and other different tariff things that they’re using to keep U.S. agriculture out,” Gordon says. “That conversation about U.S. ag needs to be on the table and I think our administration agrees. So it will be interesting to see what happens.”

EU policies on biotechnology, gene editing and pesticide regulation need to be addressed, Gordon says.

“When you talk to the producers on the ground in those different European countries, they want the technology that we’re using to better their production. And yet society over there is using more emotion than they are using science to base those facts.”

ASA is urging the Trump Administration to push back on the EU and insist that those issues are addressed, either through an FTA or through bilateral discussions.

An EU council voted this week to proceed with trade talks with the U.S., but the negotiating mandates do not include agriculture.

AUDIO: Bill Gordon

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