At an informal meeting of EU ministers on Tuesday in Sofia, Bulgaria, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders proposed to verify the cumulative effects of EU’s trade treaties on the agricultural sector. “It’s also a French concern, we’ve concluded CETA (EU-Canada treaty), we’re on the road with Japan, Vietnam, Mercosur (South American trade bloc), Mexico … But do we have a cross-cutting vision of the cumulative effects of all negotiated agreements, especially on the agricultural sector?”
He added that it’s not enough to look at the relative limited effect of a single trade treaty but at the effects of all treaties and expressed concerns about the Belgian meat sector
While Reynders is protective about this particular sector, he stresses the need to find a balance with other interests. Belgium wants to promote the export of its dairy products. It also advocates an offensive position for maritime services, the pharmaceutical sector, capital goods, etc.
“We must measure these offensive and defensive interests and see if we can explain the agreements to the population,” he said, referring to elections on both sides of the Atlantic.