Mercosur: Ireland ‘continues opposition’ to beef offer increase

The Irish Government will “continue to voice opposition” to any increased offer on beef during the ongoing Mercosur negotiations with the EU, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

In a statement to AgriLand, the department noted that the EU made an offer to the Mercosur trade bloc of a beef Tariff Rate Quota of 70,000t in October 2017.

Ireland “objected strenuously to this development, consistent with the approach which it has taken for many years”, given the very negative impact that an agreement with Mercosur is likely to have on the EU’s agriculture sector – and particularly the beef sector, the department noted.

We continue to voice our opposition to any increased offer on beef and to stress the need for continued vigilance in relation to the conduct of these trade negotiations.

“We will continue to insist that they are handled appropriately, and in a manner that safeguards the interests of the Irish and European beef sector,” the statement said.

“We will also continue to stress that full account must be taken of the findings of the European Commission’s own assessment of the cumulative impact of trade deals on the agri food sector, and the potentially very damaging impact of Brexit on an already delicately balanced EU beef market,” the statement concluded.