Meeting US Agriculture Secretary

Neil welcomed the US Secretary of State for Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, to Westminster for the Georgian's first official meeting in Europe.

With members of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, they discussed the key challenges and opportunities for UK-US agri-food trade following Brexit.

Neil said:

We had an open and constructive conversation with Secretary Purdue. The domestic US market presents significant opportunities for the UK food and farming industry, and following Brexit the Government should focus on securing a great bilateral trade deal with our US partners. 
 
The Committee also raised the importance of maintaining food standards in any trade deal with the US. Neil Parish MP said: “We must ensure that a trade deal protects UK consumers and maintains a level playing field for our own producers. Food safety and animal welfare standards must upheld in any future Free Trade Agreement.

The EFRA Committee recently launched a Brexit: Trade in Food inquiry into the impact of Brexit on the UK’s agri-food industry. The Committee will look at key issues such as standards and tariffs.  Today’s discussions explored the US view as to how the current EU-wide “Tariff Rate Quotas” should be split with the UK after Brexit.

Neil further commented:

"It really matters to UK farmers and consumers that agreement on Tariff Rate Quotas is reached quickly with World Trade Organisation countries - including the US. The outcome will significantly affect the competitiveness of goods produced in the UK and have an impact on wider trade negotiations.

Today’s discussion with Senator Purdue demonstrates the priority which representatives from both the US and UK give to finding a mutually acceptable approach to this issue."