US trade talks ‘win-win’ for manufacturers

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

The trade talks could boost food exports to the US by nearly 50%
The trade talks could boost food exports to the US by nearly 50%

Related tags: Drink manufacturers, European union

Trade talks to free up business between the EU and the US are a “win-win” opportunity for UK food and drink manufacturers and consumers, according to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

The talks, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnerhip (TTIP), aim to cut tariffs and regulatory barriers to trade between the US and EU Member States. Both parties hope the negotiations will boost both economies by improving access to each other’s markets. Central to the talks are food and drink, finance, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and clothing.

Boost food exports by nearly 50%

The EU calculated a successful outcome could boost food exports by nearly one half.  “TTIP represents a potential win-win opportunity for both consumers and food and drink, the UK’s largest manufacturing sector,” ​an FDF spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

“The food and drink sector is predominantly made up of SMEs ​[small and medium-sized enterprises] who stand particularly to benefit from TTIP as the European Commission estimates food exports will increase by 26–45% depending on the scope and ambition of the agreement.”

Agreeing mutual recognition of standards, resolving long-standing regulatory problems and further cuts to tariff levels will deliver a significant boost to business operations, said the spokeswoman. “It will create opportunities for new market entrants, enable consumers to access a wider selection of food and drink products at more competitive prices and offer significant benefits in terms of future food security in the EU and US.”

‘Significant benefits’

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed the publication of a report from the European Commission in response to a public consultation on the TTIP, while highlighting the key importance of an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause.

CBI Brussels director Sean McGuire said: “This report moves the ISDS debate forward in an open and inclusive process, setting out areas for action to secure support for a comprehensive deal that delivers growth, jobs and benefits to consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.

“It is vital that ISDS provisions in TTIP guarantee foreign investors a fair and independent process when investment disputes arise, whilst also addressing public concerns about transparency and the right to regulate.”

The opportunities TTIP could offer UK food and drink manufacturers will be under consideration at the Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum in central London on Tuesday, January 20. The free-to-attend morning event is open to senior executives in food and drink manufacturing firms.

The wide-ranging discussion covers topics directly impacting the profitability of food and drink businesses. For more information, email Felicite.Burke@wrbm.com.

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