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International Trade and Market Conditions top the agenda at EU Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministerial meeting.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD today attended a meeting of EU Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers in Brussels.

Speaking about the discussions on International Trade and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) the Minister said “Ireland supports trade liberalisation and recognises the benefits of trade agreements with third countries. We also believe in taking a balanced approach, so that offensive and defensive interests are both addressed as comprehensively as possible. We continue to harbour grave reservations in relation to the Mercosur negotiations. I welcome again the publication of the Commission’s Cumulative Impact Assessment, whose findings strongly reinforce Ireland’s position in relation to beef. They represent a timely reminder of the need for great caution in our approach to the issue of beef Tariff Rate Quota (TRQs).

The Minister continued, “The study findings must be fully taken into account in the approach to both current and future FTA negotiations. I would also reiterate that the treatment of sensitive products such as beef should be handled at an appropriately late stage of any negotiations, in contrast to the approach attempted last year in relation to the Mercosur negotiations”.

Ministers also had the opportunity to discuss current market conditions. Minister Creed said “The range of measures introduced by the Commission last year aimed at reducing the impact of the reduced milk price was very welcome.

Minister Creed also made specific reference to the difficulties being experienced in the tillage sector. “I asked the Commission to address the significant overpricing of fertiliser in the EU brought about by the imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports” said Minister Creed.

The Minister welcomed the report of the Sheep Meat Forum and paid tribute to the work of its chairman, John Bryan. The Minister called for a discussion at a future Council on implementation of the policy roadmap outlined in the report.

Ministers also had the opportunity to discuss the work programme of the incoming Maltese Presidency which included legislative proposals for the Organic sector and the ‘Omnibus’ proposals. Unfair Trading Practices were also the subject of discussion of a working lunch hosted by the Slovenian Minister.

Minister Creed also took the opportunity to informally discuss Brexit with a number of interlocutors while in Berlin for ‘Green Week’ and in Brussels today for this Council meeting.

 

View this Press Release a PDF: DAFMPR 09/2017 (pdf 443Kb) 

Date Released: 24 January 2017

Distribution channels: Agriculture, Farming & Forestry