Reacting to the outcome of last weekend’s WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, which agreed to eliminate export subsidies, IFA National Chairman Jer Bergin said it is essential that all other forms of exports supports, not just EU export refunds, but also those used by other countries across the globe are fully and verifiably removed in practice.
He said many non-European countries are using less obvious forms of export support, such as export credits, export credit guarantees, insurance programmes, the involvement of state trading enterprises and food aid programmes, to give their exporters significant advantages.
Jer Bergin said the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan needs to bolster Europe’s commitment to defending the CAP on the basis of Community preference, import tariffs and recognition of sensitive products, particularly considering the challenges in trade negotiations in TTIP and Mercosur.
The IFA Chairman said Commissioner Hogan needs to make it abundantly clear that the EU position on production standards will be to insist that full equivalence of standards for all imports is non-negotiable. He stressed that all trade negotiations are inextricably linked with climate change commitments and the EU cannot accept any trade deals that undermine Europe’s sustainable low-carbon food production in favour of systems with a higher carbon footprint in areas such as beef and dairy production.
Jer Bergin said the 2014 trade deal with Canada has left farmers very concerned that the EU has been too willing to concede too much too quickly in trade negotiations. He said Commissioner Hogan needs to stay strong and resolute in defending the CAP and the interests of European agriculture in the TTIP and Mercosur talks.