The EU trade agenda is set to have an overall positive impact on the EU economy and the agri-food sector, according to a new study published on Tuesday.
The study carried out by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) covers the cumulative effects of 12 trade agreements on the agri-food sector by 2030, an update on a 2016 study.
It finds that trade agreements are due to result in substantial increases in agri-food exports, with more limited increases in imports.
The Commission says it confirms the best approach to protect vulnerable sectors is to grant a limited amount of lower-duty imports, such as the 99,000t Mercosur beef quota.
It compared two scenarios, an ambitious one and a conservative one, to business as usual out to 2030.
Environmental and climate effects do not fall within the scope of the study.
In both scenarios, it found positive impacts for agri-food trade. While EU trade partners gain market access in the EU, it also allows EU exports to grow significantly.
EU agri-food exports to the 12 partners are set to increase by 25% (conservative scenario) and by 29% (ambitious scenario), while imports increase by 10% (conservative) and by 13% (ambitious).
This corresponds to the EU total agri-food exports increasing by between €4.7bn and by €5.5bn, and total agri-food imports by between €3.7bn and €4.7bn.
Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: “The success of EU agricultural trade reflects the competitiveness of our sector.
“Reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy have highly contributed to this, supported by a global reputation of EU products as being safe, sustainably produced, nutritious and of high quality.
“This study, with more positive results than in 2016, confirms that our ambitious trade agenda helps EU farmers and food producers take full advantage of opportunities abroad, while making sure we have sufficient safeguards in place for the most sensitive sectors.”