Vice-Minister Karoblis: TTIP will give Lithuanian products much better access to the US agricultural and food market
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis and United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse, on 10 June 2016, discussed with Lithuanian agricultural and food product exporters the on-going negotiations between the European Union and the USA on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and new opportunities to open up for Lithuanian exporters of agricultural and food products.
The Vice-Minister highlighted the sanctions against Russia which made Lithuanian food exporters actively search for new markets, with the US market considered to be one of their top priorities. Lithuanian exports of agricultural and food products to the USA have been recently growing by about 50 per cent per year. The United States Under Secretary of Agriculture underlined that the development of Lithuanian exports to the USA would be boosted by the permit to export meat and meat products granted to Lithuania in November 2015.
Raimundas Karoblis and Michael Scuse expressed their mutual support for the EU-USA negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that will markedly ease the conditions of trade in agricultural and food products. The Vice-Minister stressed that what Lithuania really needed was not only removal of high US customs duties on such important Lithuanian products as meat, dairy and fish products but also solutions concerning other obstacles that prevent entry into the US market.
“It is bringing the regulatory requirements closer to each other, simplification of various procedures or facilitated issuance of export permits that would be most beneficial to Lithuanian exporters,” Raimundas Karoblis said.
The Vice-Minister and the Under Secretary noted that both the EU and the USA were interested in ensuring the highest possible consumer, product safety, health, and animal welfare standards; therefore there would be nothing in the TTIP negotiations to undermine them.
The US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture had meetings with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture while in Vilnius. He also visited a bee farm during his visit. The round-table discussion organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs brought together Lithuanian producers of meat, fish, beverages, bakery and confectionery, and other food products, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Food and Veterinary Service.