Free trade plays an important role in ensuring food security around the globe, fostering peace between countries, and supporting strong economic growth. At a time of economic transformation and geopolitical instability, commitment to rules-based trade policies is critically important. That’s why we are concerned about a recent proposal by the European Union on Mirror Clauses which seeks to apply EU health and environmental standards to all imported agricultural and agri-food products.
Improving animal health accelerates the journey toward a more sustainable food system. Farmers with healthy animals spend less on feed, water, medicine, and land. But protectionist trade policies are being disguised as sustainability. As proposed, mirror clauses run counter to the EU’s trade priorities including the commitment to rules-based cooperation, strategic autonomy, commitment to multilateral institutions, and the strategy of openness and engagement. Mirror clauses risk undermining rules-based systems, ostracizing trading partners and ultimately hurting current sustainability.
Tackling climate change and other environmental challenges can only be done through openness, global engagement, and cooperation. The animal health industry can serve as a partner in these efforts. Rather than forcing compliance with specific EU rules, AHI encourages the EU to support policies that create competitive markets that allow companies to respond to consumers and to provide innovative medicines to help keep animal healthy and support sustainable food production in the face of a changing climate.
Read AHI public comments HERE.