In comments filed jointly today with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the National Chicken Council, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, and the National Turkey Federation said that for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations to be  successful, the final agreement must result in “real and meaningful market access to the European market for U.S. poultry.” Otherwise, the three organizations “will seriously question the need to support such a bilateral trade agreement.”

The groups pointed out that in 1996 the European Union erected non-scientific and unjustifiable non-tariff trade barriers that have prevented U.S. poultry from being exported to the European market. Further, during the past 17 years, the U.S. government has been less than successful in having the European Union begin to provide for fair market access for U.S. poultry. Even though the EU Scientific Advisory Committee approved antimicrobials as being safe and efficacious in reducing pathogens on processed poultry, the European Union Safety Authority and European Council have completely stymied U.S. poultry efforts to regain market access. The EU-27 market for U.S. poultry could approach $600 million on an annual basis if fair market access could be achieved, the comments estimated.

“We hope that we will, at some point, be able to strongly support this initiative,” the organizations said. “Until there is a clear indication of how this agreement will result in real and meaningful market access with the elimination of all non-tariff trade barriers to our products, we do not see how the TTIP is in the interests of our industry, our member companies, our workers, or the tens of thousands of family farmers who grow poultry,” the statement concluded. The joint statement is available here.

On May 29-30 USTR will conduct a public hearing regarding TTIP. A summary of the joint poultry industry’s statement will be presented at the hearing.

In a related TTIP development, the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing May 16 on negotiations between the United States and the European Union on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said that “a comprehensive and ambitious transatlantic agreement would promote economic growth, strengthen an already strong economic alliance, and serve as an influential model promoting free trade and open markets around the world.” It can also “help to set the rules of global trade and strengthen U.S.-EU cooperation in addressing barriers in third countries,” he added.