Motion for a resolution - B9-0206/2019Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on measures to address the impact on European agriculture of the WTO ruling on the Airbus dispute

25.11.2019 - (2019/2895(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Luke Ming Flanagan, Marisa Matias, José Gusmão, Konstantinos Arvanitis, Stelios Kouloglou, Manuel Bompard, Anja Hazekamp, Petros Kokkalis, Manon Aubry, Emmanuel Maurel, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedure : 2019/2895(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on measures to address the impact on European agriculture of the WTO ruling on the Airbus dispute


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the decision taken by the arbitrator of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the Airbus subsidy dispute (DS316) on 2 October 2019, authorising US countermeasures on EU exports worth USD 7.5 billion (EUR 6.8 billion),

 having regard to the formal decision taken by the WTO’s dispute settlement body on 14 October 2019 giving the green light for those sanctions,

 having regard to the US decision to introduce a new tariff of 25 % ad valorem on some agricultural products and 10 % ad valorem on non-agricultural products, as of 18 October 2019,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the US is a major destination for agricultural exports from the EU-28, having accounted for EUR 22.3 billion in 2018;

B. whereas EU agri-food exports worth EUR 4.3 billion (60 % of the total value of the countermeasures) will be hit by the new tariffs, which will be equivalent to EUR 1.1 billion;

C. whereas the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Ireland are the main countries affected by the US decision; whereas the agri-food sectors in other EU Member States will also be adversely affected;

D. whereas despite the unwillingness of the US to find an arrangement on the Boeing-Airbus dispute that would be beneficial to both parties and to take steps to unblock the appointment of the members of the WTO Appellate Body by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, the Commission is proposing to allocate the US a share in the tariff rate quota for high-quality beef, despite the refusal of the US to recognise the precautionary principle;

E. whereas the main agricultural products targeted by the US sanctions will be high-value EU products (Scotch whisky, wine, dairy products such as butter and cheese, and olive oil);

F. whereas other agri-food products such as pork, coffee, sweet biscuits and fruit juice are also targeted, albeit to a lesser extent;

G. whereas farmers and operators in the agri-food chain are once again the victims of a non-agricultural trade conflict; whereas Italy and Ireland, who are not part of the Airbus consortium, are also exposed to the new tariffs;

H. whereas the US sanctions will add more instability to the EU internal market, compounding existing market volatility brought about by extreme weather events, over-production in some sectors causing downward pressure on producer returns, and the potential negative economic fallout of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU;

I. whereas the right to food is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948;

J. whereas the global food system is in crisis, with food being treated as a private good in today’s industrial food system rather than as a common good, which would help the transition towards a sustainable food system that is fairer to both food producers and consumers;

1. Notes that the decision taken by the United States to impose countermeasures on the EU as a result of the Airbus dispute was approved by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body; calls on the Commission to support a reform of the WTO so that its remit includes assessing the implications of trade policy on conformity with the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

2. Stresses that these tariffs will not only have a considerable negative impact on those Member States and products targeted, but also on the whole agricultural sector and agri-food chain across the EU;

3. Deeply regrets the lack of engagement by the US with the EU’s attempts to find a timely negotiated solution in advance of the application of the tariffs and urges the Commission to keep negotiations open in order to find a swift solution and de-escalate the rising trade tensions between the two parties;

4. Considers that no share in the tariff rate quota for high-quality beef should be allocated to the US as long as there is no meaningful engagement to resolve the Boeing-Airbus case and as long as this country blocks the replacement of any members of the WTO Appellate Body and rejects all proposals to launch the selection process to fill the remaining vacancies;

5. Calls on the Commission to closely monitor the EU market along the entire food supply chain, in order to ascertain any disturbances that arise from the application of these sanctions and the knock-on effects of products displaced from the food supply chain;

6. Calls for the EU, in accordance with WTO rules, to utilise available common agricultural policy instruments to enable farmers to engage in a just transition to sustainable farming practices based on short supply chains and regional production in order to insulate them to the greatest extent possible from external shocks;

7. Stresses that the globalisation of the food supply chain has not benefited primary producers, a sector that is characterised by below-cost production, low returns and exposure to unfair trading practices due to its fragmented nature;

8. Regrets the fact that EU agricultural policy has evolved to regard food as a commodity; strongly believes that food is a basic human right and should not be used as an offensive tool by any party in trade disputes;

9. Calls on the Commission to take a global lead in addressing the contradiction between plentiful global food supplies and widespread malnutrition and hunger, which arises from food, one of our most basic human needs, being regarded as a commodity to be traded for profit;

10. Stresses that EU agricultural policy must be reoriented away from the current industrialised model based on exports to third countries, which leave primary producers exposed to geopolitical events beyond their control, and towards one where food sovereignty, high-quality food, fair producer returns, environmental protection and high animal welfare standards are the primary goals;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


Last updated: 26 November 2019
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