Farm organisations need to be stronger when it comes to Mercosur – Matt Carthy

Farm organisations could and should be much more ‘stronger’ in terms of their language when it comes to Mercosur, Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has said.

Speaking to Agriland in Strasbourg this week, he said that the ICSA have been very strong, and rightly so, when it comes to the Mercosur trade deal negotiations.

“The other farm organisations need to do the same and let the Government know that they won’t support any trade deal that undermines their own members in Irish agriculture.”

Carthy said that the fears people had about Mercosur six months ago still need to have them.

There was an inference given to Irish farmers that beef was off the table, beef is not off the table on Mercosur. What’s happened is they’ve decided to put it to the end of the agenda as opposed to the start of the agenda.

“This is all part of a very elaborate process that is aimed at basically by-passing the WTO (World Trade Organisation).

“If you remember the big WTO negotiations that fell when Peter Mandelson was representing the EU and they fell because basically, developing countries at the last minute pulled out because they realised this is going to be really bad for our farmers.

“Since then the Commission and the US administration have been trying to figure out a way in which they could set in place a global trading scenario that couldn’t be undermined or brought down.”

Carthy said that one of the really regrettable things the Irish Government tried to do when they were talking about Mercosur, TTIP and CETA was try to basically pit farmers against each other by saying ‘Oh we might lose on beef but we’ll gain on dairy’.

“That’s always the line that’s put through. Anything that beef farmers lose in relation to TTIP will pale in significance to what Irish dairy farmers will lose with a free trade deal with New Zealand.”

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