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NAEDA and a broad-based group of U.S. food and agricultural organizations and companies has written a letter to Ambassador Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative, expressing support for the proposed U.S.-EU free trade agreement. The letter urged that the negotiations ensure that any resulting agreement be comprehensive in nature and address important impediments to trade in agricultural products.
The letter applauded continued statements by Administration officials confirming their intention to insist on such an outcome, but recent statements by EU officials suggest they are thinking differently. Press reports in connection with the recent approval by the European Parliament of the FTA negotiations have raised doubts about whether the EU will be prepared to deal with sanitary and phytosanitary issues and other non-tariff barriers, which have become the most important form of barrier to U.S. food and agricultural exports to the EU.
Last month, I promised an update on the progress of the Governance/Structure Task Group. However, this month, I need to briefly change the focus of this column in order to provide timely information on a couple of upcoming opportunities.
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