Meat trade organisations welcome new Obama trade negotiating powers

By Andrew Burnyeat, and Ed Zwirn, in New York

- Last updated on GMT

The TPA's passage has been described as "a fundamental step to securing future free-trade deals"
The TPA's passage has been described as "a fundamental step to securing future free-trade deals"

Related tags International trade Beef Pork Poultry

The European Livestock and Meat Trades Union (UECBV) has welcomed the securing of trade promotion authority (TPA) by US President Barack Obama, which will allow him to negotiate trade deals and present the results to the US Congress for yes or no votes, without amendment.

The power is deemed vital for finalising agreements such as the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving the US and other Pacific Rim countries, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). 

Jean-Luc Mériaux, secretary general of the UECBV, told GlobalMeatNews​ the move would help EU meat and livestock exporters, and not only regarding securing access to US markets. He said, a successful conclusion to the TPP talks could encourage Japan to finalise separate trade talks with the European Union (EU), to coordinate its market opening with Europe with that involving the US, Canada and its TTP Asian neighbours, such as Vietnam.

He said: "Indirectly, the EU meat industry – and in general the EU agri-food sector – [thinks] the TPA should help a conclusion for the TPP in the coming months and, if so, Japan will be more open to a conclusion of the free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU before the end of 2015."​ He stressed that the EU meat and livestock sector "has offensive interests" regarding the Japanese market, and is keen for the EU to seal a Japan deal soon after the conclusion of the TPP. However, he warned that the TPA authority might not have the same effect on the US-EU trade talks.

Britain’s Association of Independent Meat Suppliers head of policy Norman Bagley added: "Anything which helps open up international markets and forces the EU to recognise that its protectionist tendencies are counterproductive must be a force for good."

In the USA, Philip Ellis, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, referred to the TPA’s passage as "a fundamental step to securing future free-trade deals that will allow beef producers greater access to foreign markets".

"Cattlemen and women have seen tremendous value in trade, exporting over US$7.1 billion-worth of US beef in 2014, which alone accounts for over US$350 in added value per head of cattle,"​ he said. "As world demand for US beef continues to grow, the success of the beef industry rests in our ability to meet foreign demand without the inference of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers."

Joe Schuele, spokesman for the US Meat Export Federation, said his group applauded the passage of TPA because it "should provide momentum for the TPP".​ However, regarding the expected detail of this agreement, he added: "We’re supporting our negotiators’ efforts but we can’t yet state a position on it until we see the deal."

EU-US talks aimed at reviving the stalled TTIP process resume in Brussels on 14 July.

Related topics Meat

Related news

Follow us


View more