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EU: Fruit & veg sector unaffected by pause in TTIP negotiation

Yesterday, the European Commission stated that, following the US election results, there would be a natural pause in the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States (TTIP). According to FEPEX, this pause in the negotiations of the TTIP won't affect the trade of fresh fruit and vegetables with the United States because the draft treaty does not include conditions to lift the phytosanitary requirements that the US imposes on imports of fresh fruit and vegetables from the EU, which the sector considers to be largely protectionist measures. 

The draft of the articles regarding the treaty's phytosanitary measures being negotiated between the Commission and the United States, provides that the final decision on whether a measure proposed by exporters satisfies the condition imposed by the importer, rests solely on the importer, in accordance with its administrative and legislative framework. Thus, FEPEX considers that the United States will continue to maintain the current measures in force, even after the signing of TTIP.

Community exports of fruit and vegetables to the United States are stable but have a decreasing trend in volumes and minimum values relative to the size of the market; in 2015 the EU exported to the United States a total of 116,650 tons of fruits and fresh vegetables, almost the same volume as five years ago (113,141 tons in 2011).

Furthermore, if we take into consideration chapters 7 and 8, which correspond to all fruits and vegetables, the balance is very favorable for the United States. In 2015, the EU exported 476 million euro to the United States while it imported 3,271 million euro from that country, mainly because of the large volume of American nuts it imported (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios).

Spanish fresh fruit and vegetable exports to the United States are also stable and amount to nearly 60,000 tons, as the country exported 59,681 tons in 2015, almost the same volume it exported in 2011, when the export volume amounted to 60,061, according to data from the Customs and Excise Department processed by FEPEX.

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