UK-US New Body To Advise On Competition In Farming

Farmers have welcomed plans for a new body to advise ministers on welfare standards and fair competition in trade deals with the US and other nations.

The Trade and Agriculture Commission will make recommendations to the government on how to stop the industry from being under-cut by cheaper imports and to increase export opportunities, reported BBC

It follows a recent Commons rebellion by Conservative MPs over the issue. Ex-minister George Freeman warned the new body must not be a “talking shop.” The UK is in the early stages of negotiating new trade agreements with the US, Japan, and New Zealand, among others, following its departure from the EU earlier this year.

Agriculture is set to be a key battleground, particularly in the US talks, with British farmers worried that it could see a flood of cheap imports from producers with less stringent animal welfare standards.

The UK wants high-quality food imports to be subject to lower duties to encourage foreign producers to match British standards, but the US is pressing for greater market access across the board.

Last month, dozens of Conservative MPs defied the whip in calling for tougher safeguards on food standards to be guaranteed in UK law, including a continued ban on the import of chlorine-washed chicken from the US.

Full Content: BBC

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