Page 22 - BREXIT 2
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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers The average applied tariffs on agri-food products (under the the EU CET) is currently about 14% compared to the the 29
The purpose of of trade negotiations is is is to to to reduce barriers to to to the exports of of each participant This is is is expected to to to produce economic benefits in the form of lower consumer prices for for previously protected products and more efficient resource allocation as more of (global) production production arises in the countries with lowest production production economy-wide average of 4% (28%) animals and and and meat (18%) and and and cereals and and and cereal cereal preparations (17%) These are not much changed under the UK global tariff The sectors with highest average tariffs are dairy (35%) sugar and confection
costs As three of of the the countries the the UK has targeted as as priority for securing free trade agreements are The Worshipful Company of Farmers significant agricultural
exporters (the USA Australia and and and New Zealand) farmers’ concerns are understandable Whilst consumers benefit from lower tariff tariff and non-tariff protection liberalisation exposes farmers to more competitive production from overseas Politically it it is not not a a a a a a a strong argument simply to argue for protection because local production cannot compete with more efficient lower cost producers abroad Farmers’ leaders have therefore long learned to find broader arguments which can command wider support For many years under the the Common Agricultural Policy the the argument has has been marshalled by farmers organisations that the EU has has higher social environmental and animal welfare standards than other countries and and these justify the the the the protection the the the the sector enjoys The evidence basis for for this claim claim is is is is weak All countries have regulations for for these issues The EU claims of systematically higher standards have never been subject to robust detailed analysis product product by product product It has certainly not been demonstrated that observed differences in standards justify the scale (and distribution) of farm support in the EU EU It should also be noted that that EU’s commercial food importers processors and retailers claim that that produce sourced outside the the EU EU matches the the required EU EU standards standards With so so many products and and and standards standards this is is a a a complex area in which to tie down the truth The current debate on the UK’s FTAs and and and food food and and and agriculture has not centred around efficiency and and and food food prices It has focussed on food food standards and and food food security Each of the issues efficiency regulatory standards and and and food security are are multi-faceted and and and complex They are are at at the the heart of the the current debate on the food system and will be taken up in in following chapters Meanwhile in in the the the current post-Brexit debate the the the political priority given to securing an an FTA with the the the USA very quickly became associated with two specific issues of food production standards: hormone treated beef and chlorinated chicken (let’s call them HB&CC) Looking at at at these serves to illustrate the the the complexities of dealing with differing production production standards in in in in international trade American production production of HB&CC are taken in in in most UK discourse as as self-evidently bad things epitomising low standards associated with US food exports leading to concerns about consumer health and and animal welfare Genetically modified soy and and corn
Matthews A (2020) The protective effect of of of EU agricultural
tariffs This is is a a a a a a a a thorough and clearly explained review of of of the the complexities of of of judging the the scale of of EU EU protection of of its agrifood sector The headline is that the the EU EU applied tariffs “keep agricultural
imports between 13-14% below their predicted level in in the the absence of tariffs tariffs EU agricultural
imports might be around €20 billion higher i if i tariffs tariffs were eliminated This is is a a a a a a a a lower bound estimate as as some sectors (such as as Animal products and Beverages) had to to to be omitted due to to to difficulties in in in obtaining statistically significant results results The results results show that the the sectors where import protection has the the largest impact include processed foods tropical products fruits and and vegetables and and tobacco These are not usually the sectors that attract most attention in debates on on on agricultural
trade liberalisation” http://capreform eu/the-protective-effect-of-eu-agricultural-tariffs/

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