UK decides to set up new trade and agriculture commission to inform its post-Brexit agri policy

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The UK government has decided to set up a new trade and agriculture commission under Department for International Trade auspices to inform its agricultural policy that opens up new export opportunities for the country’s agriculture industry.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said an advisory report will be produced by the new trade and agriculture commission to ensure UK farmers don’t face unfair competition.

The commission will “help inform agricultural trade policy and apply appropriate safeguards in U.K. free trade deals,” Truss wrote in the letter to NFU President Minette Batters.

NFU President Batters welcomed the move but said Parliament should ensure the government implements the findings “effectively.”

It may be mentioned here that between Britain and the US, agriculture is a major sticking point as the Trump administration has made increased market access for its agricultural products a key precondition for any deal.

However, some UK officials, as well as farmers, are concerned about the potential import of items like hormone-treated beef and chlorine-washed chicken, which they consider a threat to food safety and production standards.

“It was always going to be difficult for the U.K. to open up its agriculture sector to increased competition from American producers and others,” Sam Lowe, a senior research fellow at the Center for European Reform, said.