USDA PREPARES FOR LIVE ANIMAL TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WITH EUROPE OFFICIALS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s trade-related agencies will host a meeting in Washington May 15, inviting input from industry about sanitary and certification requirements affecting trade in live animals and animal products between the United States and Europe.
The meeting will include representatives from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Food Safety Inspection Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, in addition to the other agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
In July 1999, the United States and European Community signed the Veterinary Equivalency Agreement, which regulates more than $3 billion a year in combined U.S. and EC live animal and animal product trade.
A Joint Management Committee meets annually to review trade progress under the agreement. The next committee meeting will be held in June. The USDA said it is particularly concerned about export barriers against live animal and animal product shipments to Europe.
A complete copy of the Veterinary Equivalence Framework Agreement may be accessed on line at http://www.fda.gov/oia/default.htm.