Letter to the Hon. Robert Lighthizer - House Members Defend Agriculture in EU Trade Agreement


By: Jack Reed, Liz Cheney, Mike Gallagher, Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman, Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr., Ron Kind, Bryan Steil, Dan Newhouse, Suzan DelBene, Peter Welch, Ben Cline, Michael Cloud, Will Hurd, Jodey Arrington, Vicente Gonzalez, Michael McCaul, Ron Wright, Lance Gooden, John Ratcliffe, Louie Gohmert, Phil Roe, Dusty Johnson, Tom Rice, Jeff Duncan, Mike Kelly, Jr., GT Thompson, Jr., John Joyce, Lloyd Smucker, Kurt Schrader, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Anthony Gonzalez, Steve Stivers, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot, Chris Collins, John Katko, Anthony Brindisi, Elise Stefanik, Antonio Delgado, Sean Maloney, Adrian Smith, Donald Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry, Kelly Armstrong, Mark Meadows, David Rouzer, Mark Walker, Virginia Foxx, Greg Gianforte, Michael Guest, Trent Kelly, Billy Long, Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, Peter Stauber, Tom Emmer, Angie Craig, Jim Hagedorn, Paul Mitchell, Tim Walberg, Fred Upton, Dan Kildee, Bill Huizenga, Ralph Abraham, Mike Johnson, Brett Guthrie, Ron Estes, Steven Watkins, Jr., Roger Marshall, Larry Bucshon, Greg Pence, Susan Brooks, Jim Baird, Jim Banks, Darin LaHood, Cheri Bustos, Adam Kinzinger, John Shimkus, Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, Brad Schneider, Steve King, Cindy Axne, Dave Loebsack, Abby Finkenauer, Rick Allen, Austin Scott, Drew Ferguson, Mario Diaz-Balart, Greg Steube, John Rutherford, Ted Yoho, Joe Courtney, Ken Buck, Scott Tipton, Ken Calvert, Devin Nunes, T.J. Cox, Jimmy Panetta, Jim Costa, Josh Harder, John Garamendi, Doug LaMalfa, David Schweikert, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack, French Hill, Rick Crawford, Jackie Walorski
Date: March 14, 2019
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer,

We write today to urge you to insist on the inclusion of agricultural products in upcoming trade negotiations with the European Union (EU). As you know, agriculture is the source of a great number of trade barriers and irritants in the U.S.-EU trading relationship. Thus, an agreement with the EU that does not address trade in agriculture would be, in our eyes, unacceptable.

The United States and EU share one of the largest trading relationships in the world, but there are many ways in which the two sides can further grow and improve this relationship. Nowhere is this more evident than in trade in agricultural products. Exports from hardworking American farmers and ranchers across the country face barriers to the EU market, including high tariffs, unscientific sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and protectionist policies on geographical indications that hurt American exports not only to the EU but also to countries all over the world.

We were encouraged to see that the negotiating objectives for the EU that your office released in January included specific objectives on agricultural goods. At the same time, we were deeply disappointed that the European Commission's draft negotiating mandates specifically excluded agricultural products and that Commission officials continue to state publicly that they will not discuss agriculture in the negotiations.

We want to voice our strong support for the inclusion of agriculture in the upcoming discussions and to reiterate that an agreement that fails to include agricultural products would be deficient, significantly jeopardizing Congressional support.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.