Mini EU-US trade deal possible in coming weeks, Hogan says

European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said on Friday he was hopeful of reaching a mini trade accord with the United States in coming weeks, but that there were still difficult issues to overcome including barriers on agriculture, news wires reported.

“There is a long list (of issues) on both sides that have been outstanding for many, many years. There is no scientific basis for any of these impediments,” Hogan told reporters.

“Clearly there are regulations in respect of food safety and those issues, pathogen treatments, that we will not be in a position to change. Equally we are not asking Congress to change their regulations in some of the asks we are making of the United States.”

The EU official is scheduled to travel to the US in mid-March and he expects positive developments. Hogan will give a speech at Georgetown University on 17 March on his ideas for reform of the World Trade Organization. Officials have not announced whether he will meet the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer during the trip.

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