A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

A battle of acronyms for the same purpose

October 5, 2015

From France’s eventual withdrawal from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations to the Canadian farmers’ warning shot in the framework of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the major free trade agreements have now become weakened.

The French Government is indeed threatening to withdraw from the negotiations on the future transatlantic trade (TTIP) agreement that is supposed to set up a free trade zone between the EU and the US. In fact, French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl has condemned the Americans’ overall lack of transparency and reciprocity regarding such crucial issues as access to agricultural and agro-food markets. France is not the only nation to raise its voice. On May 7, 2015, the Walloon Parliament voted a resolution demanding the suspension of the TTIP ongoing negotiations. In addition, Wallonia Minister-President Paul Magnette recently spoke of Walloon qualms about not only the TTIP but also the CETA––the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada––that was negotiated last year.

While the TTIP proponents are praising its advantages (€119 billion annually for the EU and €95 billion annually for the US in welfare gains, as well as €100 billion in global GDP growth), the treaty is raising concerns regarding both its lack of transparency and its real impact on some sectors, especially strategic activities such as agriculture. While the figures put forward might seem important, they are in fact low considering the economic potential of the two parties: GDP gains of between 0.3 and 0.5 percent for the EU (including 0.1 percent for the sole impact of lower customs tariffs) and between 0.2 and 0.4 percent for the United States (including 0.04 percent for the sole impact of lower customs tariffs).

On the other side of the Atlantic, Canadian farmers are worried about the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiated with, among others, the United States on the supply management mechanism . Through the voices of the Union des Producteurs Agricoles du Québec (UPA) or the Coop Fédérée, they are demanding to keep this system unbroken and the customs tariffs at current levels. Otherwise, as indicated in a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, 40 percent of the Canadian milk production would be jeopardized if the immediate deregulation of supply management were to occur, that is to say a net loss of $2.1 to 3.5 billion for Canada’s GDP and a threat of 24,000 job cuts. Yet the Trans-Pacific Partnership has entered into the final stage of negotiations in Atlanta. As of October 1, 2015, no information was available to confirm that supply management would be spared.

Improving our trade relations is clearly a key priority toward European economic growth, but not at any price, and certainly not by overlooking one of the most strategic sectors––agriculture and food. And with all due respect to the European Commission, which is currently negotiating in the name of its 28 member states, free trade agreements are anything but adequate solutions to the current crisis in European agriculture, at a time when there is no impact study capable of precisely assessing the positive and negative consequences of these free trade agreements.

1 Mechanism implemented in the 1970s to maintain a balance between supply and demand, and thus control price fluctuations.

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Paris, 17 June 2019