U.S. agriculture is disappointed in the European Union’s failure to include agriculture in trade talks with the United States. “Agriculture will certainly not be part of these negotiations,” European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said earlier this week while announcing the EU is ready to begin trade talks with the United States. The two sides seek an agreement before the end of this year. Pushback from U.S. agriculture includes ag state senators such as Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who threatens any deal that excludes agriculture would be “unlikely” to win approval in Congress.
The American Soybean Association called the EU announcement a disappoint. Soybeans exported to the EU in 2017 were valued at $1.6 billion. ASA President Davie Stephens says U.S. farmers had “high hopes” the negotiations could address longstanding concerns regarding EU policies on agricultural biotechnology and pesticide laws. ASA is urging the Trump Administration to push back against the EU and insist that agriculture issues are addressed in trade discussions.