A Transatlantic Partnership — Agricultural Issues
The United States and the European Union (EU) continue to face difficult times. As they look to restart growth, there is a unique opportunity to boost economies on both sides of the Atlantic through trade liberalization. Despite the merits of a transatlantic free trade area, progress on an agreement could be slow because of several challenging issues. One of the most difficult of these is agriculture.
While agriculture and food issues have long bedeviled the bilateral trading relationship, there is now a real chance to make headway. On issues such as import duties, geographical indications, non-trade concerns (NTC), export subsidies, domestic support, and food aid, it may be possible to find middle ground between the two sides.
A transatlantic free trade agreement would have value far beyond economics. The United States and the EU could reinvigorate the Doha Round both by demonstrating global leadership and resolving many of the issues that disrupt world agricultural development and trade. An agreement would also be a hugely significant demonstration of solidarity and cooperation between the Western democracies and reinvigorate this vital important bilateral relationship. Resolutions of agricultural issues would prepare both sides for a world where an ever-increasing population and an expanding middle class make ever-larger demands on the food system. Finally, a transatlantic agreement would enable both sides to develop a joint strategic vision for the world economy of the future.