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Trade agreements boost EU agri-food sector

Trade agreements have helped to boost EU agricultural exports and have supported jobs in the agri-food sector and other sectors of the economy, according to a new independent study carried out on behalf of the European Commission.

Wednesday 1 March 2017 (2 years 9 months 8 days ago)
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The study shows that the agreements contributed to increased trade in both directions, with increased EU exports and increased imports of products from these three countries, giving EU consumers and business greater access to agri-food products.

Importantly, the study suggests that these increased imports have little impact on domestic EU production. Instead, they reflect mainly a replacement of imports from other third countries or an increase in EU consumption.

Specifically, in relation to the three agreements, the study shows that:

  • The agreement between the EU and Mexico added €105 million to EU agri-food exports in 2013, three years after both sides had removed all the trade barriers they committed to remove in the agreement. Most of these were processed food and beverages. Additional imports of €316 million in the same year were mostly primary products. The study also identifies potentials for the EU agri-sector in further eliminating current tariffs and barriers. This is now being tackled in the negotiations to modernise the EU Mexico agreement.
  • Although not yet fully implemented, the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) added €439 million in additional EU agri-food exports in 2015 (the latest year for which data is available), mostly in the form of primary products and commodities. Additional imports of €116 million in the same year were mostly of processed food and beverages.
  • The EU-Switzerland trade agreements on agricultural products and processed agricultural products together added €532 million to EU agri-food exports in 2010, three years after they were fully implemented. Most of this was in the form of processed food and beverages. Additional imports of €1.17 million were mostly in the form of primary products.

The study underlines the importance of closely following the trade negotiations of the EU's main competitors to make sure that the EU does not fall behind in access conditions to important markets for agri-food products. It also shows that more recently, ambitious agreements such as the EU-Korea trade deal, which entered into force in 2011, have a higher positive impact than older and less comprehensive agreements like the 2000 EU-Mexico agreement. This is a sign of the increasing quality and effectiveness of EU trade agreements in terms of removing barriers and of the success of the sector in improving competiveness.

Monday February 27, 2017/ EC/ European Union.
http://europa.eu/rapid

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