What do EU trade deals mean for my country’s farmers?

What do EU trade deals mean for my country’s farmers?

Trade deals are increasingly important for EU farmers. 90% of the increase in world demand for food and drink products in the next 10-15 years is expected to come from outside Europe. EU trade agreements can help farmers tap into this growth, by cutting tariffs and speeding up customs checks.

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A recent study for the European Commission found increased exports due to EU trade deals with Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland have supported almost 20,000 jobs in agriculture and food production across Europe.

In exchange for other countries lowering taxes on imports, trade deals also set new limits on how much of certain goods can be exported to Europe. The EU recently commissioned analysis of the likely impact of 12 future trade agreements. The authors predicted gains for the EU’s dairy and pig meat sectors, but potential challenges for Europe’s beef and rice producers.

As a result, the EU will continue its policy of not fully opening the market for sensitive sectors. In its recent deal with Canada, for instance, only 45,838 tonnes of beef – equivalent to 0.6% of EU consumption – will be permitted to enter the bloc tariff-free, and this will be phased in over five years.

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