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Vilsack Cites Lingering Trade Issues With Europe

Vilsack tells European officials hard decisions needed to pass trade accord with US. European negotiators will need to compromise on some hard-held positions to successfully pass a trade agreement with the United States, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, speaking from Brussels, where he met with 28 agricultural ministers and commissioners for informal discussions on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and the European Union that would cut tariffs and other barriers to trade. "I was very candid with my colleagues that absent a real commitment, a strong commitment to agriculture in this trade agreement, it would be very difficult for Congress to get the votes necessary to pass TTIP," he said. Topics addressed during the discussions included phytosanitary issues, biotechnology, cloning, regional simplification and geographical indications, but the one addressed by all ministers speaking at the session was geographical indications, the secretary said.

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