Commission study finds positive impact of trade agreements on agri-food sectors

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The EU trade agenda is set to have an overall positive impact on the EU economy and the agri-food sector, according to a new study published today. Trade agreements are due to result in substantial increases in EU agri-food exports, with more limited increases in imports, creating a positive trade balance overall. The study also confirms that the EU’s approach to grant a limited amount of lower duty imports (through tariff rate quotas) is the best approach in terms of protecting specific vulnerable agri-food sectors in the EU.

The study carried out by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) covers the cumulative effects of 12 trade agreements on the agri-food sector by 2030, an update of a 2016 study. A theoretical modelling exercise, the study includes trade results for the agricultural sector as a whole, and sector-specific impacts on trade, producer prices and production volumes.

Commenting on the study, Executive Vice-President responsible for trade Valdis Dombrovskis said: “The EU has always stood for open and fair trade which has enormously benefitted our economy, including agricultural producers. This study shows that we have been able to strike the right balance between offering more export opportunities to EU farmers, while protecting them from potential harmful effects of increased imports. Supporting the EU agri-food sector will continue to be a key element of the EU’s trade policy, be it through market opening, protecting traditional EU food products or defending it against dumping or other forms of unfair trade.”

Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: The success of EU agricultural trade reflects the competitiveness of our sector. Reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy have highly contributed to this, supported by a global reputation of EU products as being safe, sustainably produced, nutritious and of high quality. This study, with more positive results than in 2016, confirms that our ambitious trade agenda helps EU farmers and food producers take full advantage of opportunities abroad while making sure we have sufficient safeguards in place for the most sensitive sectors.

The study covers free trade agreements (FTAs) recently concluded or implemented by the EU, as well as trade agreements on the EU agenda. It includes two scenarios, an ambitious one (full tariff liberalisation of 98.5% of all products, and a partial tariff cut of 50% for the remaining products) and a more conservative one (full liberalisation of 97%, and 25% tariff cut for the others). In addition, included in the scenarios, the five concluded FTAs are modelled on the basis of the negotiated outcome. The results of the scenarios are both compared to a reference scenario of business as usual in 2030. Environmental and climate effects do not fall within the scope of today’s study, including any Green Deal related initiatives. The Sustainability Impact Assessments prepared in support of trade negotiations already provide the Commission with an in-depth analysis of the potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental impacts .

Main findings

Throughout the study, findings are for 2030, with the different scenarios compared to the reference scenario of business as usual.

For both scenarios, the results show a positive impact on the EU agri-food trade balance by 2030. While EU trade partners gain market access in the EU, it also allows EU exports to grow significantly. EU agri-food exports to the 12 FTA partners are set to increase by 25% (conservative scenario) and by 29% (ambitious scenario), while imports increase by 10% (conservative) and by 13% (ambitious), both compared to the reference scenario. This corresponds to the EU total agri-food exports increasing by €4.7 billion (conservative) and by €5.5 billion (ambitious), and total agri-food imports by €3.7 billion (conservative) and €4.7 billion (ambitious).

The study confirms that the EU agricultural sector can benefit from the EU trade agenda. A comparison of the 2016 versus 2021 cumulative impact studies shows the effectiveness of tariff rate quotas in mitigating impacts on our sensitive sectors such as beef, rice or sugar. In fact, the 2016 study already informed the strategy towards Mercosur and this update can be used as an evidence base for the need for Tariff Rate Quotas in ongoing trade negotiations. Furthermore, an ambitious future Common Agriculture Policy, supporting innovation, sustainability and the competitiveness of the EU farming sector, can also contribute to minimise any negative outcomes of trade negotiations while reinforcing the positive ones.

More details on the economic assessment is available in the study, including information about the methodology and caveats.

The outcome of the study was presented yesterday to EU Ministers at the AGRIFISH Council and presented today at the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and rural development.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year


At Davos, UN chief urges ‘big emitters’ to take climate action

In Bahrain, Global Forum for Entrepreneurs and Investment examines empowerment of women, youth through innovation

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: UN Secretary-General Announces “Climate Action 2016” Partnership

‘Repeated attacks’ could close down key hospital in eastern Libya, says WHO

UN chief highlights action across borders for ‘stable and prosperous Eurasia’

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

Here’s why China’s trade deal with Mauritius matters

Bangladesh, South Africa and Bolivia all beat the US for women’s representation in politics

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

Speeches of Vice Premier LIU He and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen at the Press Conference of the Seventh China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

Thinking throughout HIV: changing a perspective

OECD Steel Committee concerned about excess capacity in steel sector

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe

4 rules to stop governments misusing COVID-19 tech after the crisis

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

Illicit trade endangers the environment, the law and the SDGs. We need a global response

LGBTQ+: The social evolution of a minority

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

The EU prepares for the end of LIBOR: the Commission welcomes the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on financial benchmarks

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

Fighting against the Public Health System dismantling means guaranteeing assistance to all

8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Parliament criticises Council’s rejection of money laundering blacklist

Revamp collective bargaining to prevent rising labour market inequalities in rapidly changing world of work

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

China in my eyes

Why 2020 will see the birth of the ‘trust economy’

Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s what it does differently

Providing mental health during pandemic times

Four ways Artificial Intelligence can make healthcare more efficient and affordable

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

Does Draghi have another ace up his sleeve given his Quantitative Easing failure?

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

The link between air pollution and COVID-19 deaths

Execution of juvenile offender in Iran ‘deeply distressing’ – UN rights chief

Protecting farmers and quality products: vote on EU farm policy reform plans

What’s needed to ensure maternal health for women in vulnerable populations

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

Trump declares emergency and WHO urges speed – latest coronavirus updates

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

Schools must look to the future when connecting students to the internet

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

Mental health in midst of a pandemic: can we help?

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s