Report: Trump Wants EU To Accept Chemically Washed Chicken As Part Of Trade Deal

Darren.Woon

Sonny Perdue is insistent on the EU dropping their food regulations before advancing trade deals with U.S.

President Trump’s secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, is pushing hard to include politically sensitive subjects such as chemical-washed chicken in a transatlantic trade deal with the EU, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In order to secure the deal recently promised by Trump and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, Perdue urged Brussels to accept food production methods banned in Europe.

The EU and U.S. officials have discussed low-level liberalization of agricultural trade such as unblocking bureaucratic obstacles to imports of American oysters and other shellfish to the EU, and European sales of apples and pears in the U.S.

However, Perdue said the EU would need to change its food hygiene regulations to address the U.S. trade deficit in agriculture with the bloc.

Perdue defended chemical-washed chicken on Monday, which is a U.S. technique to disinfect poultry. The EU commonly refers to it as “chlorinated chicken” and bans the practice.

“We have a very efficient system of poultry production and we are able to export to every other country in the world,” he said, arguing that U.S. farmers now use a chemical called peracetic acid rather than chlorine. “Peracetic acid...is a great pathogen reduction treatment. You know what it is? It’s vinegar, essentially. To say that’s unsafe or not to be used, we don’t think there’s a basis for that in sound science.”

“Sanitary and phytosanitary standards” became a hotly contested issue in the last EU-U.S. trade negotiation, the stalled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Brussels resisted U.S. pressure to drop its restrictions on chemical-washed poultry, beef raised with growth hormones, and crops produced using genetically modified organisms.

The EU eliminated industrial tariffs, enhanced regulatory competition across a range of areas, and purchased American soybeans and liquified natural gas in order to forestall the U.S. threat of additional import duties on European cars.

The EU has refused to make agriculture part of the talks.

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