Trump toasts US-EU Trade deal on beef imports

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Trump toasts US-EU Trade deal on beef imports

Donald Trump has announced an agreement to open up European markets to more US beef exports.

From France to Ireland farmers are protesting EU trade deals. CETA and The South American Mercosur trade deal.

Now today the US EU have announced a new trade deal.

Obviously no consideration for the Farmers that are already protesting the other two controversial trade deals that will lose farmers their livelihoods.

Donald Trump has announced this agreement to open up European markets to more US beef exports.

During the announcement on Friday at the White House, Trump said the the deal would lower trade barriers to Europe.

“We love our farmers and ranchers,” Trump said, adding that US beef exports have recently increased 31 percent.

“They want a level playing field,” the president said. “That’s all they want, and nobody can beat them.”

US and European Union officials have been laying the groundwork for talks on a trade agreement, but had faced an impasse over agriculture.

The new deal under which the EU will accept a high number of American beef exports, a move that will surely increase profits for US farmers and related industries.

The imported beef will be hormone-free it will take stringent checks to enforce this rule bearing in mind the USA beef use of hormones in the industry.

Bearing in mind the EU’s inability to monitor the introduction of horse meat into the beef supply chain, how are they going to ensure all the beef imported from the USA is “hormone-free”, bearing in mind the extent to which growth hormones are used in American beef production?

Also, if the EU can at least theoretically restrict beef imports to “hormone-free” beef, why couldn’t the UK restrict chicken imports to be chlorine-free chicken?

The EU will accept 45,000 tons of hormone-free beef from foreign countries every year, and America will be allowed to fulfill 35,000 tons of that quota after seven years — roughly 80 percent of the total.

The announcement of a new deal on beef also comes a month after the EU concluded a Mercosur trade agreement with a group of South American countries that will allow 99,000 tonnes of South American beef enter the EU market annually.

The agreement was originally reached in June and approved by EU members in July. On Friday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his European counterpart made the deal official.

Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU ambassador to the US, praised the agreement as a “great example of how the multilateral trading system can work”.

“With this agreement, the EU reaffirms its commitment to a positive trans-Atlantic trade agenda and a new phase in US-EU relations,” Lambrinidis added.

This is not project fear this is the reality of an EU-US trade deal.

What it could mean to UK consumers and farmers if we remain in the EU?

This will not please the Irish farmers who over the past few days have been protesting over Beef imports from the EU trade deal known as Mercosur.

Farmers across Ireland have been holding protests in recent days to highlight their concerns over the beef sector in Ireland. 

it comes down to a new trade agreement between the European Union and the bloc of South American countries known as Mercosur.

The agreement was reached after two decades of negotiations, and is expected to remove more than 90% of agricultural and industrial tariffs on both sides.

It could save European companies billions of Euro in trade duties every year, but not everyone is happy about it – a Government minister, opposition TDs, farming lobbyists and environmental groups have all criticised the deal.

The agreement will open up the 28-nation trading bloc to Mercosur, a four-nation group of South American countries made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. LINK

French farmers target Macron lawmakers in trade protest

Anti-CETA protesters have vandalized a dozen parliamentary offices of the ruling LREM party across France.

Farmers vandalized offices of lawmakers from President Emmanuel Macron’s party overnight in southern France, the latest in a series of protests against the approval of a trade deal between the EU and Canada.

The local farmers’ union also targeted the representative offices of the French state in the regional capital Toulouse, local media reported.

The EU-Canada trade agreement, known as CETA, was approved by the French Parliament on July 23 as part of the ratification process. Since then, anti-CETA protesters have vandalized a dozen parliamentary offices of the ruling LREM party across France, causing growing concern among Macron-affiliated lawmakers.

On Thursday night, protesters dumped manure outside the state office in Toulouse and the local office of LREM MP Monique Iborra. They also walled up the office of another LREM MP, Corinne Vignon.

These EU trade deals show the disregard for not only farmers and consumers they highlight the very nature of the EU and its business first ethos.

John Hilary, now the head of The Labour Party trade policy and former, Executive Director of War on Want, explained CETA at a trade union debate on the EU referendum. Organised by the QUB School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

CHLORINE CHICKEN AND ACID-WASHED MEAT

In the US it’s perfectly legal to “wash” butchered chicken in strongly chlorinated water and to spray pig carcasses with lactic acid. Abattoir companies present these as belt-and-braces methods of reducing the spread of microbial contamination from the animal’s digestive tract to the meat.

There are also concerns that such “washes” would be used by less scrupulous meat processing plants to increase the shelf-life of meat, making it appear fresher than it really is.

If the EU were obliged to accept chlorine chicken and acid-washed meat from the US, this would not need to be flagged up on product packaging because these washes and sprays would count as “processing aids”, which don’t need to be labelled.

HORMONE AND ANTIBIOTIC GROWTH PROMOTERS

The EU has a general ban on the use of synthetic hormones to promote growth in farm animals because the European Food Safety Authority says that there isn’t enough data to fully assess potential human health risks, such as increased cancer, and early puberty.

In the US, synthetic hormones are considered safe, and intensively reared beef cattle and dairy cows are often implanted with them. Pigs are also treated with the beta-agonist drug Ractopamine, which has hormone-like bodybuilding effects.

Globally, there is heightened awareness that the overuse of antibiotics in farming is encouraging the emergence of bacterial infections in animals and humans that are resistant to key groups of these vital drugs. The latest data shows that 75% of medically important antibiotics in the US were given to farm animals. In the UK, the equivalent amount is lower (40%), largely because EU farmers have not been allowed to use antibiotics to make their animals grow bigger more quickly – or produce more milk.

Once a EU-US trade deal was signed, US meat processors would be likely to see big opportunities to get their pork – and to a lesser extent, their beef – into the EU. These imports would probably be purchased by processed food manufacturers. And as their multi-ingredient products don’t have to list the country of origin of individual ingredients, there would be no sure way of avoiding eating milk or meat produced to less exacting US standards, unless you never ate processed food.

ANIMAL BYPRODUCTS FED BACK TO LIVESTOCK

Powerful US meat and grain corporations want the EU to drop restrictions on animal byproducts (abattoir offcuts and waste) in animal feedstuffs, arguing that it is a barrier to trade aimed at protecting our internal market. The American Feed Industry Association has already challenged this EU rule on the grounds that its industry experienced a 62% drop in exports over the past decade because of it.

The practice of feeding slaughterhouse byproducts, such as brains and spinal cord, back to animals in their rations can result in outbreaks of livestock diseases: swine fever, foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease. It is thought to be the most likely cause of in humans.

The EU’s willingness to accept imports of animal feed manufactured with animal byproducts (and GM soya) was established two years ago when the trade talks were placed on hold.

Return of the TTIP ghosts

Two years after the suspension of the TTIP talks, many of the much maligned treaty’s ghosts are already back to haunt us. Since the Trump-Juncker meeting, the European Commission has taken several steps to expand imports of controversial US products such as fracked gas and GMO soy. This is reminiscent of the TTIP times, where, to please the US and bring it to the negotiation table, the Commission weakened EU safety standards even before formal negotiations began.1

Following the massively subsidised construction of new pipelines, terminals and other gas infrastructure, for example, Europe has now become the top buyer of US liquefied natural gas (LNG). This is mostly fracked gas, which is environmentally damaging, climate polluting and has severe social impacts. Imports for US GMO soy to feed EU factory farms have also exploded, and the Commission has just cleared the way for biodiesel made from US soy – even though its own figures say it is twice as bad for the climate as fossil diesel.

TTIP reloaded: big business calls the shots on new EU-US trade talks

“We will hopefully have less tweets and unilateral actions, and more of a constructive debate between both sides,” said Luisa Santos, director for international relations at BusinessEurope, Europe’s largest business lobby.

Worrying corporate wish-lists

The Commission’s frequent get-togethers with corporate lobbyists is particularly worrying when one looks at the industry wish-lists for a transatlantic trade deal. For example, US pharmaceutical lobby PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, lobbying for Eli Lily, Pfizer, Sanofi and others) wants to use the upcoming negotiations to challenge European rules on affordable medicines. A cabinet member of Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström met PhRMA member Eli Lilly in September 2018.

Meanwhile the US Grains Council, which lobbies for agribusiness giants such as Bunge, Cargill, and Bayer-Monsanto, wants to use talks on regulatory cooperation to increase exports of GMO products into Europe, increase EU pesticide residue levels in food, and undermine EU efforts to regulate hormone disrupting chemicals. Officials from the Commission’s trade department met lobbyists of Bunge, a member of the Grains Council, in November 2018.

“For more than two decades… trade deals have harmed communities… We need a fundamentally different approach to trade – one that prioritises the needs of people and our planet over corporate profits.

 

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