Agriculture Minister Dan Glickman announced today that the United States has signed a new agreement with the European Union, paving the way for mutual recognition of animal health systems and a simpler solution to the associated solution, and the EU has also concluded veterinary equivalency agreements with Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Chile. Negotiations are ongoing with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay). This agreement facilitates the exchange of live animals and animal products between the parties and provides a framework for cooperation on trade-related issues. The VEA allows veterinary inspection requirements to differ between the US and the EU, while preserving the right of both parties to set their own level of public health protection. This agreement provided a framework for communication and cooperation in the trade in live animals and animal products. The equivalency agreement allows for the varying of veterinary inspection requirements from one country to another and guarantees the United States the right to set a proper level of public health protection for imported and domestic products. The British government has concluded with the United States that this agreement should not be ignored. We are convinced that trade will not be affected, as this agreement is not in force. The agreement identifies specific areas in which the two trading partners recognize that different requirements of different nations can achieve an equivalent level of protection for human and animal health. In practice, this means that producers in one country wishing to export to another country can comply with the import country`s standards by other means, in addition to meeting their own domestic requirements. The agreement will help reduce compliance costs for producers, reducing one of the factors that could unnecessarily affect exports.
The agreement, reached after six years of negotiations, represents about $1.5 billion in exports of animals and animal products to the EU to the EU and an equivalent value of EU exports to the US. In 1998, the United States exported $377 million worth of edible products for fish and bivalve molluscs to the EU, Live animals valued at $175 million, US$175 million worth of pet food, skins and skins valued at $161 million, $111 million in red meat and dairy and egg products valued at $54 million. This protocol maintains the traditional currents of exchange of live animals and animal products between Andorra and the European Union, in accordance with EU veterinary legislation. This publication is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-agreements-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal/livestock The agreement also provides for a regular consultation and exchange of information in order to achieve the full equivalence of control systems for all live animals and animal products between the United States and the EU. “This important agreement lays the groundwork for greater trade opportunities between the United States and the European Union,” Glickman said. “It is encouraging to note that, despite the current difficulties in our trade relations, the United States and the EU have worked together to reach agreement on these complex issues of agricultural trade. This protocol complements the customs union agreement between the EU and Andorra, which is not ignored in the event of a non-agreement.