The European Commission won’t rush to complete the trade negotiations with the United States while President Barack Obama is in office, agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said Thursday.
“I’m not interested in completing the deal quickly during the Obama term because I’m not going to agree to his terms,” Hogan said during a POLITICO event in Brussels.He singled out Geographical Indications — or origin-protected foods and drink — as an issue on which Europe would not back down. Hogan added that a deal that sacrificed geographical indications was unlikely to be ratified by the EU’s 28 members.
The U.S., for its part, is opposed to making concessions that would mean American producers are forced to stop using what it sees as generic product names — like parmesan.
“We are certainly playing a tough card at the moment in terms of agriculture,” he said. “But they’ve made an assumption that we are going to cave” on GIs and other protections for sensitive products. “There will be no deal if that’s the case.”