Animal welfare in TTIP negotiations

E-011348/2013

Key Words : no representation of DG SANCO in the TTIP negotiations

Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)

3 October 2013

 

Question

 

1. On 16 July 2013, DG Trade hosted a civil society dialogue which was attended by more than 150 participants representing civil society. In answer to a question posed, the EU Deputy Chief said that animal welfare would be discussed in the negotiations. Does the Commission have concrete plans to include animal welfare in the sanitary and physiosanitary measures (SPS) chapter of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)(1), or would it prefer to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU), such as the one recently signed with Brazil?

2. DG SANCO was not represented at the above meeting. Is DG SANCO part of the EU negotiators team?

3. Banned in the EU but authorised in the US, biotechnology applied to animals and tools such as growth promoters have a significant impact on the health and welfare of animals, including cardiovascular and musculoskeletal problems. How are EU negotiators ensuring that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will not facilitate access to the EU market for US products that have come from production systems using cloned material and growth promoters?

4. On the topic of regulatory convergence, are EU negotiators planning to develop a joint‐strategy with the US to reduce levels of antimicrobial resistance (such as in the case of meat), while minimising any adverse impact on animal health and welfare?

5. The High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth has recommended to transatlantic partners that they address ‘environment and labour aspects’ of trade and sustainable development. What is the level of convergence in this regard? Are the EU and the US willing to agree on a common minimum set of environmental and social requirements for all future trade deals with third countries?

 

(1) Such as the EU-Chile FTA or EU-Korea FTA, for example.

 

Answer

22 November 2013

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

In the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, as in other trade negotations with third countries, the EU aims at establishing cooperation mechanisms on animal welfare between the Parties. The Commission will explore the possibilities to reach an agreement with USA on this issue and the Parties may decide at a later stage on the modalities of the possible cooperation.

Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs is part of the EU negotiatiors team and co-leads, with the Directorate General for Trade, TTIP negotiations on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) matters including animal welfare issues.

The Commission would like to refer the Honourable member to Question E-002504/2013(1).

In the framework of regulatory convergence EU negotiators will study possible ways of developing a joint strategy for all the matters falling under the SPS field. Under the transatlantic taskforce on antimicrobial resistance (TATFAR) initiative, US and EU are already exchanging best practices and experiences on the issue.

The EU has developed a consistent practice of including chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development in its Free Trade Agreements, aiming at ensuring that increased trade is mutually supporting environmental protection and social development, and does not come at the expense of the environment or of labour rights. The EU plans to address this issue under the current negotiations with the USA, as described by the initial position paper of the Commission(2).

(1) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/parliamentary-questions.html?tabType=wq#sidesForm
(2) http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2013/july/tradoc_151626.pdf

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