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Thursday, 02 March 2017

Trade agreements boost EU agri-food sector

Trade agreements can help increase sales and support jobs in the EU agri-food sector, a new study shows. 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. Trade agreements with three countries – Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland – were studied in detail. Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan said: "These three agreements alone have increased EU agri-food exports by more than €1 billion and have raised value-added in the agri-food sector by €600 million. Just as importantly, this increase in exports has supported thousands of jobs in total across the EU, most of which in the agri-food sector, including in primary agriculture. These figures are clear evidence that ambitious and balanced trade deals work for European food and farming." Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "Trade deals, done right, are a force for good for our farmers and food producers. This study also gives important input on how we can continue to cut unnecessary red tape and get rid of barriers in our trade negotiations going forward." 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.

Source: European Commission