Monday, April 27, 2015

U.S. – EU Trade in Genetically Modified Organisms

The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) Context

By Elizabeth D’Agostino
Elizabeth D’Agostino is a third-year law student at Albany Law School. She was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and received her B.A. in Political Science from Union College in Schenectady N.Y.  While at Union College, she received honors for her senior thesis: Agricultural Policy In America: The Rise of Industrial Farms and the Emergence of Alternative Farming (on file with Shaffer Library, Union College), and graduated magna cum laude in 2012.
Liz currently serves as an Executive Editor for Notes and Comments for the Albany Law Review and will join the Albany office of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC upon graduation.
After spending a semester in Galway, Ireland in 2011, Ms. D’Agostino developed an interest in comparative politics, which expanded into an interest in comparative international law.  Additionally, Ms. D’Agostino has done extensive research on the social, political and health impacts of Genetically Modified foods. This paper is a result of blending the two interests and was prepared for Professor Halewood’s course in International Trade Law.

Recently, negotiations for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have intensified with a large focus on the agricultural portion of the proposed agreement. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a potential trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, currently in negotiation phase that aims to remove trade barriers and create uniformity in technical regulations between the two “like-minded” superpowers.

While trade between the European Union and United States is historically strong, one area of trade that has remained minimal is the agricultural sector. Arguably, the current reason for this lag in agricultural trade is due to the two nation-state’s differing approaches toward Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

This paper will discuss the fundamental differences in the international trade policies of the United States and the European Union pertaining to GMOs in the context of the TTIP agreement negotiations. It will also pose some predictions as to the potential progress and outcome of the large-scale trade agreement.

Biotechnology is a sufficient enough portion of the agreement that it could hold up negotiations entirely and potentially kill the agreement.  However, given what appear to be some very recent concessions on the part of the European Union, there is hope that a “watered down” version of the biotechnology provisions will pass for the sake of achieving implementation of the entire TTIP agreement.
To read the paper, open HERE.