TTIP Leak: Proposals to Eliminate Subsidies, Create Commission for Agriculture


Worrying for Irish Farmers as not one mention in the leaked documents of dairy or beef and there is fear that non-niche agricultural produce will be lumped into one broad category

TTIP Leak: Proposals to Eliminate Subsidies, Create Commission for Agriculture

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Worrying for Irish Farmers as not one mention in the leaked documents of dairy or beef and there is fear that non-niche agricultural produce will be lumped into one broad category

The recent Greenpeace leak of TTIP documents offer insights into the nitty-gritty of negotiations between EU and US representatives. Wordings are subject to change and the documents are preliminary outlines of a would-be agreement, but you can really get a flavour of where the two blocks stand.

It is clear that Europe wishes to protect Geographical Indications, region-specific niche goods like Camembert cheese or Chianti wine. This is worrying for the majority of Irish farmers, as there was not one mention in the leaked documents of dairy or beef and the is fear that non-niche agricultural produce will be lumped into one broad category, but as yet nothing is confirmed.

The Agriculture document begins:

“The Parties recognize the differences in their respective agricultural models and the need to ensure that this Agreement does not adversely affect the agricultural diversity of the Parties.”

GIs make their entrance:

“The Parties reaffirm the importance of origin-linked products and geographical indications for sustainable agriculture and rural development, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Much of this document centres on breaking down export restraints in terms of subsidies and tariffs, with a lot of cross-referencing, which makes the document in general quite difficult to understand:

“The Parties shall not grant any financial support to exports of an agricultural good, [...] unless this export financing support complies with the terms and conditions laid down in paragraph 7.”

“US: A Party shall not introduce or maintain any export subsidy on any agricultural good destined

for the territory of another Party.

EU: The EU reserves the right to present a proposal on domestic support, in particular

interaction between trade-distorting domestic support and market access commitments.”

The document outlines plans to establish a Committee on Agriculture, whose terms of reference are still open to negotiation:

“The Parties hereby establish a Committee on Agriculture [EU: comprised of representatives of each Party. The Committee on Agriculture] [US: which] shall report to the [EU: {Trade}] [US:

Joint] Committee. [US: Each Party shall have a representative on the Committee.

  1. The Committee [EU: on Agriculture] shall [US: provide a forum for]:

(a) [EU: monitor and promote cooperation on the implementation and administration of Chapter {TTIP chapter on agriculture}, in order to facilitate the] [US: facilitating] trade in agricultural goods between the Parties;

(b) [EU: provide a forum for the Parties to discuss developments of domestic agricultural programs and trade in agricultural goods between the Parties;]

(c) address [US: ing] barriers [EU: in] [US: to] trade in agricultural goods between the Parties;

(d) [US: exchanging information on domestic agricultural programs and environmental measures affecting agriculture];

(e) [EU: evaluate the impact of this Agreement on the agricultural sector of each Party, as well as the operation of the instruments of this Agreement, and recommend any appropriate action to the {Trade} Committee;]

(f) [EU: consult on matters related to Chapter {TTIP chapter on agriculture} in coordination with other relevant committees, working groups, or any other specialized body under this

Agreement;]

(g) [EU: undertake any additional work that the {Trade} Committee may assign to it; and]

(h) [EU: report and submit for consideration of the {Trade} Committee the results of its work under this paragraph.]

(i) [US: discussing agricultural export competition issues;]

(j) [US: considering any matter arising under this Chapter; and]

(k) [US: discussing agricultural issues arising in the WTO and other multilateral fora in which the Parties participate.]”

“The committee [EU: on Agriculture] shall meet at least once [EU: a] [US: each] year unless the Parties [EU: decide otherwise] [US: otherwise decide].”

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