EU Con­cerned About Col­lat­eral Dam­age From U.S.-China Spat


SHANG­HAI (Reuters) - Europe is con­cerned about the col­lat­eral dam­age it may suf­fer from Amer­ica’s es­ca­lat­ing trade dis­pute with China, Phil Ho­gan, the Eu­ro­pean Union agri­cul­ture com­mis­sioner, said on Wed­nes­day on the side­lines of a food trade show.

Ho­gan out­lined his con­cerns in a meet­ing with U.S. Un­der­sec­re­tary for Agri­cul­ture Ted McKinney this week in Shang­hai, he told a me­dia brief­ing, as the world’s top two economies held talks to reach a trade agree­ment.

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s top trade and eco­nomic of­fi­cials are pre­par­ing to meet Chi­nese Vice Premier Liu He in Wash­ing­ton to dis­cuss con­cerns rang­ing from in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty pro­tec­tion to farm goods and steel ca­pac­ity.

In meet­ings with se­nior Chi­nese government of­fi­cials this week, Ho­gan also urged Bei­jing to con­tinue to give ac­cess to the EU re­gion’s beef, fol­low­ing its ap­proval of Ir­ish im­ports and sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the na­tion’s pro­posed food safety cer­tifi­cates.

Eu­ro­pean and U.S. gov­ern­ments have wor­ried that pro­posed food safety rules re­quir­ing health cer­tifi­cates for all food im­ports, even if the prod­ucts are deemed low-risk, would ham­per bil­lions of dol­lars of trade with the world’s No. 2 econ­omy.

The rules were due to take ef­fect in Oc­to­ber last year, but Bei­jing agreed to a two-year post­pone­ment to al­low com­pa­nies more time to com­ply.

Among the Chi­nese of­fi­cials Ho­gan met were Han Changfu, the min­is­ter for agri­cul­ture and ru­ral af­fairs, and vice premier Hu Chun­hua.

Ho­gan, whose of­fi­cial ti­tle is Eu­ro­pean com­mis­sioner for agri­cul­ture and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment, is lead­ing a del­e­ga­tion of Eu­ro­pean food com­pa­nies in China this week as part of the trade show.

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