While business confidence is recovering from a trade standoff between the US and China, tension is also increasing between Brussels and Washington.
A European Central Bank report published last week suggests that a trade standoff with escalating retaliatory tariffs imposed on both sides of the Atlantic would hurt growth directly as well as damage potential business confidence and investment.
The economies of the US and EU are more densely connected than any other in the world after major regulatory concessions were made on both sides of the Atlantic.
Although most over the last year attention has been focused on steel and car manufacturing, the issue over agriculture remains divisive, including recent spats over “chlorinated chicken” or the use of hormones in beef production, which is currently dominating UK discourse on post-Brexit agriculture.
In the summer of 2018, the Italian government threatened to block the EU-Canada trade agreement because some of its traditional food products are replicated across the Atlantic using brands that are protected, including mozzarella and prosciutto.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced in 330 dairies in a specific region in the north of Italy, with a specific process, as are a number of geographical place of origin products in the EU. This is key for the international competitiveness of a range of EU products – from Bordeaux wine to Haloumi cheese – and is closely guarded in every international trade negotiation.
In an interview with the German daily Handelsblatt on Thursday, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Paul Juncker, said that he did not expect there would be a second chance in sealing a Trans-Atlantic Trade Partnership under President Donald Trump Administration. “No, there will not be a TTIP II,” Juncker said.
However, President Juncker did say that there were planned talks on trade with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of a meeting of the G20 economic powers in Japan in late June which, however, would not include agricultural products: “The Americans keep trying but we have stood our ground,” he said.