Beef the big loser in EU trade deals – Report

AGRILAND – 16 NOVEMBER 2016

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The report – the Cumulative Economic Impact of Future Trade Agreements on EU Agriculture – analyses the potential ongoing and upcoming Free Trade Agreements (FTA) between the EU and 12 trade partners.

It shows the vulnerability of specific agricultural sectors, particularly beef, towards growing imports following increased market access.

According to the report, the beef and sheep sector will be most affected in terms of trade flows, particularly imports.

Presently, Free Trade Partners account for 88% of the beef and sheepmeat imported into the EU, while these nations account for 36% of European exports.

Under the analysis, the Commission expects the volume of product coming from Mercosur countries to increase strongly, with more than an 80% increase in imports expected from the Mercusor trading block.

Meanwhile, it expects the volume of EU exports to Mercosur countries not to change significantly, hence the trade balance between the EU and the Mercusor trading block will deteriorate sharply.

The analysis carried out by the Commission also shows that EU beef imports could increase sharply by about 146,000t and 356,000t under conservative and ambitious scenarios.

The direct additional volume of EU beef imports creates a direct downward pressure on the EU producer prices, while an increase in the European dairy market is likely to add to this pressure.

The combined pressures on the EU market lead to a steep drop in beef meat prices, -8% in conservative scenario and -16% in the ambitious scenario, the Commission report shows.

The 12 partners involved in the trade deal:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Mercosur
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Vietnam
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia

 ICSA 100% Against Free Trade Sell Out Deals

 ICSA President Patrick Kent has said that the results in the study vindicates the ICSA position that trade deals currently under negotiation are almost uniformly disastrous for beef and also damaging to the sheep sector.

“Politicians who have been cheerleaders for trade deals really need to read this report and then reflect on what they are supporting.

“We have just seen the consequences in the USA for politicians who have been dismissive of the people impacted most by globalisation.

“A similar pattern will emerge here if the EU Commission, supported by EU politicians, allow our beef farmers to become the EU equivalent of the automotive workers in Detroit,” he said.

He also said that the ICSA has consistently stood against the ‘disastrous’ trade deals being negotiated by the European Commission, as they offer no positives whatsoever for the Irish livestock sector. ICSA is the only farm organisation to be 100% against trade deal sell outs because our members carry all the costs.