Removing Barriers and Recognizing Standards

In July 2013, the European Union and the United States began talks for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP). Even if tariffs and customs duties are already low between the EU and USA eliminating those which remain, reducing bureaucracy, and aligning standards across sectors, including food and agriculture, would mean earnings for the global economy, not just that of Europe and America.

According to data from the European Commission, members of the EEC would benefit from 120 billion euros, the United States 90, and world trade 100. Given the vast scale of interests involved, the talks could continue for some time before an agreement is finalized.

The chapter dedicated to the food and farming is, as happens frequently in these types of negotiation, a delicate one. Controversial areas include even the partial American recognition of Europe’s DOP and IGP food labels, and the traditional resistance on the part of Europe of transgenic foods. Despite this, the EU and USA have recently begun to talk about introducing equivalency policies for some standards, such as those for organic food.