EU-US bilateral issues and global food security - top on the agenda of Commissioner Cioloş in Washington
Meeting with his counterpart, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday morning, EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş discussed a number of bilateral issues, including to US restrictions (due to BSE) on EU beef exports, progress on organic equivalency and the state of preparation for the next Farm Bill.
The Commissioner also had a number of exchanges on ways of helping farmers cope with price volatility.
In a meeting with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk (see photo), the Commissioner discussed a wide range of issues, including EU beef exports, and the prospects for progress on the Doha Round. Both men underlined their commitment to the multi-lateral process, in particular after the impetus provided by discussions in Davos in January.
Speaking in Washington DC on Wednesday morning, the Commissioner stated:
“My talks here have been particularly informative for me on this, my first, trip to the USA. I found my discussions with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack very useful, covering a range of bilateral issues. I see similarities on many of the issues facing farmers in the EU and the USA. Like the CAP, US Farm policy also faces a difficult period of negotiation between now and the end of next year as part of the process of designing the future policy framework. We have also discussed global food security issues, including the importance of addressing price volatility – which we hope to discuss at the G20 meeting in Paris in June.”
In the course of his 2-day stay in Washington DC, the Commissioner had bilateral meetings with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk. In Congress, he met with Congressmen Saxby Chambliss, Colin Pettersen – with meetings with Mike Johanns, Pat Roberts and Frank Lucas scheduled for Wednesday. He also participated in an informal dinner discussion with a number of leading official and stakeholders.
Following on from his discussions in New York earlier this week about global food security issues, which included a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Director of the Earth Institute Jeffrey Sachs, the Commissioner had a meeting with World Bank chief Robert Zoellick and senior World Bank officials dealing with food security issues.