TTIP: far greater benefits to US agriculture than to EU's, study finds

Written by Julie Levy-Abegnoli on 5 January 2016 in News

A US government report has revealed that removing agricultural trade barriers between US and EU would harm EU exports.

A US department of agriculture report on the implications of the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) for the agricultural sector has revealed that the US would benefit far more than the EU from any deal.

The report looks at three separate scenarios that may occur should certain trade barriers be removed. In the first scenario, if tariffs and tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) were removed, US agricultural exports to the EU would increase by €5.1bn compared to 2011 levels, compared to a measly €0.7bn for exports going the other way. In fact, EU agricultural exports would decrease by 0.25 per cent.

The study explains that projected US export gains are greater because the EU imposes higher tariffs on imports than our friends across the Atlantic.


The second scenario outlines what would happen if, in addition to tariffs and TRQs, non-tariff measures (NTMs) were also removed. NTMs include export subsidies, anti-dumping practices and standard disparities.

In the agricultural sector, NTMs relate primarily to food safety. If they were removed, US exports would increase by a further €3.8bn. At the same time, EU exports would only increase by €1.1bn and would still decline overall.

The third scenario looks at how this would impact consumer demand. As it turns out, consumers would increasingly turn to locally -grown products rather than imported agricultural goods. This would cancel out any gains from removing trade barriers, even although that is the main objective of TTIP.

Reacting to the findings, Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella called on the European Commission - tasked with leading the EU side of the negotiations - to, "either confirm the US scenarios and therefore the uselessness of TTIP, or denounce the report, discrediting the credibility of US trade partners."

The S&D group deputy has written to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, asking for the Brussels executive's position on the report. Unsurprisingly, since the start of the negotiations in 2013, the Commission has insisted that TTIP would bring substantial benefits to the EU.

The trade deal has not been without controversy over the years. Environmental NGOs have repeatedly warned that it would lower EU food safety standards. Meanwhile, a 'stop-TTIP' petition has garnered over three million signatures.

About the author

Julie Levy-Abegnoli is a journalist for the Parliament Magazine

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.


Share this page



Related Partner Content

World Water Day: Providing universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene is a huge challenge
21 March 2016

But with the European Union's support of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, clean water can become a reality that transforms our world, writes WaterAid’s Margaret Batty.

CAP reform: a new chance for biotech innovation in agriculture
2 May 2017

Continuing to deny the benefits of GM crops is unfair and counterproductive, argues Pedro Narro Sanchez.

Flourishing trade is bringing Ukraine and EU closer together
24 January 2019

Ukraine has built a lasting partnership with the European Union, underpinned by trade and security, explains Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze.