IFA President Joe Healy met with EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in Brussels this week and discussed the latest update on the Mercosur negotiations.
He said with reports from Brussels that the Brazilians are looking for way more access in the Mercosur negotiations, beyond the 70,000t already offered, Joe Healy said, “EU Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom cannot be allowed to give away any more. The Commissioner has already capitulated to the Brazilians in these negotiations, moving from 45,000t to 70,000t and Europe should go no further”.
Joe Healy said Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has made it clear that the 70,000t is the only formal offer from the Commission. The Commissioner has to dig in on this and not allow Commissioner Malmstrom to be rolled again in the negotiations.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said Commissioner Hogan has to face down the Trade Commissioner and insist that the EU does not give any more concessions to the Brazilians.
He said, “Commissioner Malmstrom has already conceded way too much in the giveaway of an additional 70,000t of EU beef market access. Ireland, using all diplomatic and political channels, and Commissioner Hogan need to say bluntly: this has to stop”.
Angus Woods said talk of the EU Commission renegotiating existing TRQ (tariff rate quotas) and giving further concessions to the Brazilians is nothing short of a three-card trick, “Commissioner Hogan must dig in and stop Commissioner Malmstrom in her tracks from conceding on the double to Brazil.”
“The negotiating strategy flies in the face of everything that the EU stands for, and what is happening in terms of Brexit.”
He accused the Trade Commissioner of blatantly undermining European policy and values on the environment and animal welfare. “One arm of the Commission is prepared to do this deal and undermine the environment and animal welfare, while European farmers are asked to play their part on climate change and maintain the highest welfare standards.”