Tackling of non-tariff barriers key to increased US-EU soy trade

FEFAC, representing the European compound feed & premix manufacturers, welcomes the EU/US joint statement on strengthening the trade relationship by working towards increased trade in soybeans and by launching a close dialogue on standards to ease trade. This pragmatic approach will benefit EU/US Agro-food trade and, in particular, imports of US soy and other feed grains which moved to a historic all-time low mainly due to EU’s non-tariff barriers.

FEFAC President Nick Major stressed that “the European feed industry will continue to rely on imported vegetable proteins for many years to support a competitive and sustainable livestock industry”. He referred to the persistent drought situation in larger parts of Northern and Central Europe, stating “it is possible that the EU will have to increase imports of soy and other feed grains (e.g. corn gluten feed, dried distillers grains) to maintain its livestock population in the current marketing year”.

He expressed concerns about the potential introduction of new EU non-tariff barriers for US soy and feed grains following the ruling by the European Court of Justice on mutagenesis (Case C-528/16). Nick Major: “Keeping new mutagenesis breeding techniques in the scope of the EU Directive 2001/18 could potentially lead to unintended consequences by effectively blocking EU market access to imports of US soy and other feed grains and by undermining the EU protein plan’s objective to reduce the EU protein deficit.”