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EU Continues to Say No to Ag in Trade Talks With the US

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A top European Union trade official says Europe seriously wants a trade agreement with the United States. However, EU political leaders still won’t negotiate on significant agricultural policies. Bernd Lange is chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. He was in Washington, D.C. last week to talk to lawmakers and Trump administration officials.

Reporters continued to question him about the U.S. demands that the EU reduce its ag tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. farm commodities. “On agriculture, everyone knows that this is not possible,” Lange says.

Lange was in the nation’s capital to try and kickstart the stalled trade talks. While visiting with staff in Senator Chuck Grassley’s office, the staff members told Lange that “agriculture should be in any deal.” Lange’s response was a simple one; “it’s not possible.”

An Agri-Pulse report says that is the opposite of what EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan had said in a recent visit to the U.S. Hogan had told reporters that Europe was considering taking a more flexible approach on its refusal to include agriculture in trade talks with the U.S. The EU will soon be busy as formal trade talks with the United Kingdom are set to begin on Monday.