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Nebraska Agricultural Organizations Join Roundtable Discussion on U.S.-UK Trade Negotiations

June 30, 2020 - The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) invited state agricultural organizations to participate in a Zoom meeting regarding expanding agricultural trade between the United States and the United Kingdom and how regulatory and custom standards and definitions will play into the negotiations. 
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) invited state agricultural organizations to participate in a Zoom meeting regarding expanding agricultural trade between the United States and the United Kingdom and how regulatory and custom standards and definitions will play into the negotiations.

2020.06.30 NDA + UK Trade Zoom CallGuest speakers were Tim Bakke, Senior Trade Policy Advisor for the British Consulate General in Chicago and Jennifer Groover, Senior Policy Advisor for Trade and Agriculture at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
 
Key Takeaways of this meeting, attended by EVP Kristi Block, were:
The United Kingdom imports about half of its food. They are not a big player in production agriculture, but their research industry is strong, including agricultural research.
 
Regarding geographic indicators “scotch whiskey”, there is a good possibility that the UK would support them as long as they aren't generic in nature “mozzarella”.
 
A big hurdle for agriculture is education. Just like in the United States, consumer attitudes regarding agriculture - and US agriculture - lack scientific understanding and are based more on emotions and stories. The UK also has one of - if not the – strongest animal welfare activist groups. They also have strong environmental groups. Another hurdle will be that you are working with two generations in the UK who are used to how the European Union regulated products and processes.  
 
A positive is while USA labels might receive pushback, in general, state-specific labels such as Nebraska Beef are strongly supported and desired. Regarding biotechnology, there is potential there as long as definitions are ironed out such as what nature-based solutions mean. Because the UK has strong research institutions the science-based standards and regulations supported in US agriculture have the potential to be negotiated favorably.

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