By Chris Prentice
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. farm, automaker and food and beverage groups pressed the Trump administration on Friday to ensure that any new trade talks with the European Union lead to an increase in their access to EU markets with less red tape.
U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded better terms of trade for the United States from China, the EU and Japan. Washington has already reworked the North American trade treaty with neighbors Mexico and Canada. Trump said poor trade deals have cost the United States millions of jobs.
At a hearing on U.S. negotiating objectives for trade talks with the European Union, groups representing farmers, food and automobile companies said they wanted to be included in the talks and that reducing tariffs and regulatory restrictions should be a key objective.
The U.S. Trade Representative notified lawmakers in October of its plans to pursue the trade talks, though it has been unclear whether agriculture and automobiles would be included as a joint statement from the regions in July called for reductions but gave little direction on either sector.
“It is fundamental that food and agriculture issues are a key component of this agreement,” U.S. Grains Council Director of Trade Policy Floyd Gaibler said at the hearing.