WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Peanut Federation (USPF) applauds the efforts of 19 U.S. Senators requesting assistance from the Biden Administration on European Union (EU) non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. peanut exports.
Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) led the Senate’s effort on the letter.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grades U.S. peanuts for quality and safety. This includes testing protocols for aflatoxin. The EU has placed excessive aflatoxin requirements on U.S. peanut imports. These requirements have become non-tariff trade barriers for the U.S. peanut industry.
U.S. producers exported 668,000 metric tons of peanuts. The EU’s tests have cost U.S. producers $170 million in recent years. The losses in the first quarter of 2021 totaled an additional $130 million in anticipated lost sales.
Senators urged the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and USDA to work together. It stated, “As U.S. Senators who proudly represent peanut farmers in our states, we strongly support joint efforts by USDA and USTR to engage with your EU counterparts with the goal of reducing exiting non-tariff trade barriers on peanut exports.”
Karl Zimmer, Chairman of the USPF said, “The EU is critical to the future of the U.S. peanut industry. Despite years of trying to resolve this non-tariff barrier for U.S. peanut exports, the industry has been unable to do so, and U.S. peanut sales to the EU have plummeted. We greatly appreciate the work of these senators in trying to resolve this critical issue for peanut state economies.”
The Senate letter was sent to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai on Tuesday, June 22.
The USPF is comprised of peanut growers, shellers and buying points.