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Farmers' Group Opposes EC over Mercosur Trade

by 5m Editor
11 November 2010, at 10:49am

EU - Copa-Cogeca has attacked the EU Commission's move to prioritise completion of the trade liberalising talks with Mercosur, the Latin American Trading Group, in its trade policy agenda for the next five years.

The European Commission (EC) claimed that a renewed trade strategy will provide triple benefits for Europe: stronger economic growth, more jobs and increased consumer choice, says Copa-Cogeca. The Commission also said getting an agreement in the trade liberalising talks with Mercosur is a priority.

But Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen warned: "Copa-Cogeca strongly opposes the talks, as any agreement would have a catastrophic impact on the EU agriculture sector. These imports do not have to comply with the same high standards as those in the EU and an agreement would lead to a substantial contraction in the EU agriculture sector, threatening 28 million jobs in EU rural areas.

"Moreover, opening up our commodities market to cheaper imports from non-EU countries would not result in a 'greener' economy. Out-sourcing our production abroad would go against the objective of 'sustainable growth' and the EU commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Trade policy as presented in this Communication fails to fulfil the priorities of the EU 2020 strategy for growth and employment as it recognises that trade openness 'may cause job losses in some sectors'."

EU Farm Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, has also criticised the direction of future EU trade policy in a letter sent to the Commission President.