Independent TD for Laois Offaly, Carol Nolan, has said that she has engaged with the office of the Minister for Agriculture following a “significant number” of concerns that were raised with her by members of the Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA).
Deputy Nolan said that the concerns revolve around the “complete lack” of consultation by the Department of Agriculture during the negotiation and implementation phase of the EU/US WTO Aircraft Dispute.
The long-running dispute has led the EU to issue Regulation 2020/1646, allowing for the imposition of an additional 15% duty on products listed on Annex 1 of the regulation and a 25% duty on those products listed on Annex II.
“The farmers and IGFA members I have spoken to are genuinely appalled at the lack of engagement by the department and indeed, the Irish delegation that was present during the course of the debates leading up to the issuing of these new regulations.”
“From the IGFA perspective, it is incomprehensible why the Irish team, unlike other EU member states, did not provide ample opportunity to discuss, review the proposed list, consult with industry and provide comment.”
“There is also real anger and alarm around why absolutely no notice period was provided for or requested by the Irish delegation when it knew what the impact of this regulation would be.”
Undermine competitiveness of Irish food industry
She said there are specific concerns that the imposition of duties and tariffs following on from the implementation of the Regulation will “seriously” undermine the competitiveness of the Irish food industry particularly with respect to tariff proposals for beet pulp and molasses.
At the very least, the Minister and indeed the Department need to demonstrate good faith and urgently engage with the IGFA and those farmers who will be severely impacted by the tariffs,” concluded Nolan.