GMO remains a bone of contention
In July 2013 the European Union and the USA opened negotiations regarding a free trade area called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the two entities. Some issues have proved particularly problematic, though, and the road to consensus does not look smooth.
What TTIP can provide
TTIP is likely to become a breakthrough move for the global trade. The initiative involves lifting the barriers in the traffic of goods, services, public orders and investment. Seeing that transfer of goods between the EU and the USA is the largest such exchange in the world, worth 2 billion EUR daily, the savings resulting from a free trade area might reach 120 billion EUR per year.
A few objections remain
The EU is particularly concerned about the possibility of the European market being flooded with genetically modified food. EU member countries are very strict about GMO use, due to obvious reasons: introducing genetically modified organisms to the natural environment means interbreeding, which might trigger wholly unpredictable changes in plants. The US Senate Committee on Finance is under pressure from the American farmers and has stressed the requirement that EU must ease the limitations concerning GMO.
In search of a solution
EU is known for prioritizing sustainable farming. Therefore, European agricultural producers are certain to oppose the idea of relaxing GMO trade rules. However, the stake here is making trade easier for thousands of enterprises, bringing financial benefits for million of inhabitants of EU countries and the USA. Is GMO to become the issue which signing TTIP will depend on? Will lobbyists manage to persuade either side to make concessions? We must wait and see what the second round of negotiations in December will bring.