According to the EU trade agreements will benefit European agribusiness

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According to a new study published by the European Commission, the EU's trade agenda is set to have an overall positive impact on the EU economy and agrifood sector. Thanks to the trade agreements, EU agrifood exports will increase significantly and imports will grow more moderately, creating an overall positive trade balance. The study also confirms that the EU's choice to grant a limited amount of lower duty imports (through tariff rate quotas) is the best choice to protect specific vulnerable agri-food sectors in the EU.

The study conducted by the Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC), an update of a 2016 study, examines the cumulative effects of 12 trade agreements on the agri-food sector by 2030. Using a theoretical modeling exercise, the study examines trade outcomes for the agricultural sector as a whole and sectoral effects on trade, producer prices, and production volumes.

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 liberalization of 98.5 percent of all products and partial 50 percent duty cuts on other products) and a more conservative one (full liberalization of 97 percent and 25 percent duty cuts on others). In addition, included in the scenarios, the five concluded FTAs are included in the model based on the negotiated results. The results of both scenarios are compared to a baseline scenario of the status quo in 2030. Environmental and climate effects, including any initiatives related to the Green Deal, are outside the scope of today's study. Sustainability impact assessments prepared in support of trade negotiations provide the Commission with an in-depth analysis of potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental impacts.

Commenting on the study, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President responsible for Trade, said: "The EU has always been committed to open and fair trade, which has brought enormous benefits to our economy and to farmers, among others. This study shows that we have managed to strike the right balance between offering more export opportunities to EU farmers and protecting them from the potentially damaging effects of increased imports. Support for the agri-food sector will continue to be a key element of the Union's trade policy, whether it's opening up the market, protecting the EU's traditional food products, or defending against dumping or other forms of unfair trade."

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