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US pressure EU on ag issues

By Country News

European Union negotiators say they do not want to include agriculture in bilateral discussions with the United States.

US negotiators are also seeking a new trade deal with Japan and met recently with Chinese negotiators in Washington.

Speaking at a US Department of Agriculture annual forum, trade negotiator Gregg Doud said it was ‘‘high time’’ for the EU to ‘‘get with the program’’ on issues like biotechnology and genetically engineered ingredients.

‘‘Their politicians, you ask them a question, and they say, ‘well, maybe I need to check with Greenpeace before I answer’,’’ Mr Doud said.

The US has said the EU’s lengthy process for biotechnology approvals slows down innovation and curtails US access to the European market.