TTIP: Exploiting opportunities, maintaining standards

The aim of the negotiations between the EU and the USA on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is to reduce barriers to trade. This relates in particular to import duties, but also to unnecessary red tape.

This is intended to facilitate imports and exports of goods and services between the EU and the USA as well as investments in the respective trade areas. While tariffs and other trade restrictions are to be cut and removed, the high level of consumer protection in Germany and Europe will remain.

From left to right: Moderator Dr. Ursula Weidenfeld, Federal minister Christian Schmidt and Friedrich Merz "Free trade constitutes a huge opportunity, both for Europe and for the USA. The high level of consumer protection that exists in Germany and Europe will remain in place, as will consumers' freedom of choice," said Federal Minister Schmidt at the "Dialogue at the BMEL" event in March 2015, Source: BMEL/ Trutschel

The BMEL supports efforts for an extensive free trade agreement with the USA. In 2014, German exports to the USA amounted to approximately EUR 96 billion. The USA are thus the second most important destination for German exporters. With approximately EUR 49 billion, the USA are 4th on the list of countries of origin for German imports.

In areas where market access is restricted by red tape, exemption from customs duties and the convergence of administrative requirements could act as motors for growth and employment. For example, having to conduct a different set of approval and test procedures in order to export to the USA leads to huge effort and expense for the German food industry, which is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Germany and the EU will continue to be able to adopt all regulations they consider necessary and justified to protect their consumers. The agreement is also intended to promote a high level of environmental protection, consumer protection and occupational health and safety in line with the EU acquis and the legislation of the Member States. The BMEL also calls for cooperation in the area of animal welfare.

The EU rules governing the approval and import of genetically modified organisms promote transparency, freedom of choice, and environmental and health protection. In the USA, genetically modified food is produced and sold without labelling. There are about 68 import licenses for genetically modified agricultural raw materials, food and feed in Europe. Labelling is mandatory if the proportion of authorised genetically modified organisms (GMOs) exceeds 0.9%.

If animals which have been treated with substances that have hormonal effects, or meat from such animals, become a matter of negotiation in respect of the agreement, there will be no relaxation of the hormone ban in the context of the free trade agreement. In the USA, hormones are approved as growth promoters in livestock farming. Using hormones for this purpose in fattening stock is prohibited throughout the EU.

In Germany, hygiene standards regarding the production of meat must be met at every stage of production. Under no circumstances may chemical surface treatments be used to make up for other hygiene deficiencies. In the USA, poultry may, after slaughter, be sprayed with chlorinated substances. This allows germs such as salmonella or campylobacter bacteria, which are prevalent in fresh poultry, to be killed. American consumers thus receive a germfree product. In the EU, chlorinated substances are not approved for such purposes.

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Further information

Tradition – Innovation – a Devotion to Detail

Startbild Agrarexport

Germany is the world’s third largest exporter of agricultural goods. German products are popular and in demand. The film on "Quality made in Germany" shows why. In approximately three minutes, the film shows the wide range of products offered by the German agri-food industry – in the fields of seed and planting stock, animal genetics, agricultural machinery, raw materials (cultivation and production), and semi-finished and finished products.

Germany stands for a modern, productive and at the same time sustainable agri-food industry. The film shows how the industry meets the high quality standards that apply in all sectors. These quality standards guarantee that all exports are of top quality.

show video: Tradition – Innovation – a Devotion to Detail …


Agricultural products in Germany at a glance (infographics)


Germany’s agricultural sector is among the four largest producers in the European Union. No other country in Europe produces more milk, grows more potatoes or produces more pork. Just over half of our arable land is dedicated to growing cereals alongside other crops such as maize, rape, sunflowers and sugar beet. Apart from cattle, pigs and chickens, livestock farming also includes turkeys, sheep and other farm animals. Fruits, vegetables and wine are produced in regions that enjoy particularly favourable climate and soil conditions.



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