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Hogan and Malmström take cumulative impact assessment to committees
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Hogan and Malmström take cumulative impact assessment to committees

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The EU’s agriculture and trade commissioners made a joint appearance before the committees on agriculture (AGRI) and international trade (INTA) in Brussels this evening.
The EU’s agriculture and trade commissioners made a joint appearance before the committees on agriculture (AGRI) and international trade (INTA) in Brussels this evening.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan and Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented their take on the current state of trade deals, including a summary of the recently published cumulative impact assessment of the effect of trade deals on agriculture.

Both commissioners were synchronised in their delivery with a strong emphasis on being pro-trade, arguing that it has served EU agriculture well.

Trade should be anchored in Europe’s values

Commissioner Malmström was clear in her view that “trade should be anchored in Europe’s values” and that there would have to be a focus on the defensive concerns with Mercosur, not making commitments that the most sensitive sectors can’t handle.

Benefit of trade to EU agriculture

Commissioner Hogan was even more forceful in emphasising the benefit of trade to EU agriculture, referring to record exports of €11.5bn from Europe in September 2016 with a 31% increase in pigmeat exports outside the EU.

The report provided a strong argument for a strong and well-resourced CAP

He highlighted the positives from the cumulative impact assessment for dairy, pigmeat and then addressed the vulnerability of the beef sector. With an eye on the next battle, he said the report provided a strong argument for a strong and well-resourced CAP, and that it would be the first CAP that had to integrate world trade.

Contributing, Northern Ireland MEP Jim Nicholson drew attention to the possibility of a Mercosur deal “wiping out Europe.” He went beyond the commercial issues that are the focus of the study by drawing in the social, environmental and cultural contribution of agriculture to the rural economy.?

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