News Release 23rd October
For Immediate Release
EU-Canada trade deal may hit thousands of Irish farming families – Senator Mullen
Government must insist that Canadian imports meet EU standards
The recent trade deal between the EU and Canada could pose a serious threat to the Irish farming, Senator Rónán Mullen said today.
Speaking during a Seanad debate on the Common Agricultural Policy, Senator Mullen said the agreement would remove over 99% of tariffs between the EU and Canada. This could set a dangerous precedent for any future trade agreement with the US, he said.
“The agreement with Canada poses a significant threat to Irish farmers who are currently the EU’s largest exporter of beef. For Canada, perhaps the biggest winners will be pork and beef farmers with no limit on the value of the cuts that are exported.”
“The Government must insist that imports from Canada meet EU standards on production, food safety and the environment all of which involve production costs for Irish farmers.”
There was a fear that the EU Commission had bargained away EU agricultural interests in exchange for benefits in other areas. This would be a short-sighted approach, Senator Mullen said.
“In the forthcoming negotiations with the USA the Government must resist pressure to liberalise trade for beef and pork,” Senator Mullen said. “We must not allow the EU Commission to use the agriculture sector as a bargaining tool in major trade negotiations,” Senator Mullen concluded.
Referring to CAP reforms, Senator Mullen said that the new per hectare calculation rather than one based on productivity would see a greater part of EU money flowing east as opposed to traditional recipients here in Ireland.
“50,000 farmers will see a dip in their annual payment. I am joining the call made by the IFA that the Government must commit to co-financing a comprehensive package of rural development measures for vulnerable sectors and regions and implement mechanisms for encouraging investment in agriculture.”
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