Barriers in the EU-US Agricultural Trade within TTIP Agenda

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-2-36-45

V. Maltseva (,
Ural State University of Economics, 62, 8 Marta Str., 620144 Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation;
D. Chupina (,
Ural State University of Economics, 62, 8 Marta Str., 620144 Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation 

Acknowledgements. The research is supported by RFBR (project 17-37-01004).  

Abstract. Potentially, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a major driver for regulatory shift both in EU-US and global agri-food trade. The EU and the USA produce and export up to 20% of global agri-food products, however bilateral trade is impeded with numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers. Tariff barriers on agricultural transatlantic trade are relatively low at first sight: average MFN applied tariff on imports into the US doesn’t exceed 7% and 14% into the EU. These averages hide significant tariff peaks in sensitive products (especially, dairy and meat sector), various non-ad valorem duties, and limited number of duty-free tariff lines. NTMs are the key barriers to transatlantic trade, ad valorem averages of which are more than 50%, while the USA initiate more than 3 times more NTMs than the EU. NTMs mainly cover agricultural raw materials. However their impact on trade varies from completely restrictive for meat and “sand-in-the-wheels” effect for fruits and vegetables. Non-tariff regulation in the EU and the US is dominated by SPS and TBT measures which mainly arise from significant divergence of market regulation practices in both parties. Agricultural agenda of the TTIP (according to EU negotiating texts) goes beyond conventional RTA’s market access agenda and includes not only tariff elimination, but also commitments in TBT and SPS which aim to achieve coherence, and even domestic subsidies. Both the US and the EU have recent mega-RTA experience but neither the TPP nor the CETA were an agreement between dissimilar parties with equal bargaining power. Nevertheless, the EU demonstrated more flexibility while the US managed to lobby “American-style” approach to regulation of genetically modified products and food and beverages with geographical indication. Briefly, the TTIP is an ambitious project with potentially far-reaching regional and global impacts. Still, these spillovers are limited to the scope and depth of the current agenda, dramatic regulatory divergence and cooling of EU-US relations.

Keywords: trade barriers, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), European Union, United States, agricultural trade, tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers 


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For citation:
Maltseva V., Chupina D. Barriers in the EU-US Agricultural Trade within TTIP Agenda . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 36-45.

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