Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Lord Rooker, Minister of State for Sustainable Farming and Food, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman

  I am writing to let you know that a negotiating mandate was agreed as an "A" point at the Economic and Finance Council on 5 May 2006 authorising the Commission to open negotiations with Thailand and Brazil on the import regime of certain cuts of poultry.

  As a result of a World Trade Organisation dispute panel ruling the European Commission will need to amend its description of certain cuts of poultry. In order to avoid this leading to a disruptive increase in imports of poultry into the EU and potential collapse of the EU poultry market, the Commission has proposed that the current bound tariff rate for salted meat (including poultry) be replaced by a tariff rate quota reflecting future trade prospects. The Commission will need to offer Brazil and Thailand compensation for these changes under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. These negotiations will also include prepared or preserved chicken meat to avoid import substitution.

  In accordance with the usual procedure, an Explanatory Memorandum will be submitted once the negotiations are completed.

16 May 2006

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