U.S. President Barack Obama in his February 12 State of the Union Address mentioned a pair of trade negotiations that could have a positive impact on the trade of U.S. poultry, livestock and feed commodities.

“To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a trans-Pacific partnership, and tonight I’m announcing we will launch talks on a comprehensive trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership with the European Union. Trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs,” Obama said.

If those talks result in Europe reducing barriers on U.S. meat products and genetically modified crops, it would benefit those in the agriculture sector, as well as others who transport those commodities, USDA broadcaster Gary Crawford said in a United States Department of Agriculture radio report.

Advertisement

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, welcomes the news of talks with the European Union, but is not yet ready to celebrate a victory of U.S. agriculture.

“Farm Bureau is encouraged that some long-standing issues hindering trade between the U.S. and the EU, such as sanitary standards for beef, have lately been addressed. A constant commitment to removing barriers to agricultural trade is necessary in order to achieve a worthwhile agreement for U.S. agriculture,” said Stallman. “Farmers and ranchers have been frustrated over the seemingly endless array of non-tariff barriers Europe applies to many of our agricultural commodities and products. We are cautiously hopeful that these negotiations will yield positive results for U.S. agriculture.”