Vilsack travels to Europe |

Vilsack travels to Europe

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will spend the week in Europe to promote the U.S.-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), USDA announced last week.

Vilsack’s trip took him to Luxembourg City today. He’ll also visit Brussels, Paris and Ireland.

“The EU is the world’s largest importer of food and agricultural products,” Vilsack said in a news release.

“But despite the continued growth of this market, U.S. market share is shrinking because U.S. producers and exporters continue to face numerous trade barriers. The negotiation of the T-TIP offers a major opportunity to address these barriers and expand market access for U.S. farmers and ranchers.”

Vilsack’s itinerary includes:

Luxembourg City — Vilsack will address the agriculture ministers from the 28 EU member states and urge them to share their expertise with trade negotiators to develop an ambitious T-TIP agriculture package that creates jobs and strengthens rural economies.

Brussels — Vilsack will meet with EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, and EU Parliament Agriculture Committee Chairman Paolo de Castro. He will also meet with Brussels-based U.S. business interests at the American Chamber of Commerce.

Paris — Vilsack will address French food and agricultural stakeholders, emphasizing that U.S. and French farmers share more commonalities than differences. He will also meet with Bernard Vallat, director of the World Animal Health Organization, and Stéphane Le Foll, France’s minister of agriculture.

Ireland — Vilsack will meet with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and accompany him on a tour of Irish beef and dairy farms.

–The Hagstrom Report