The European Union and the US are planning to launch a new platform to address the security of food supplies and agricultural commodities as the war in Ukraine curbs global access to staple crops and fertilizers from the region.
As many countries are facing food security issues, “there is clearly a need for how to best align approaches to support these countries as the EU and US are major players and international donors,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU’s trade chief, said in a Friday interview.
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The two countries will also look at supply chain diversification, particularly for fertilizers. Since both Russia and Belarus are major exporters, “there are clearly disruptions and we need to see how we are diversifying the supply,” Dombrovskis said.
The new cooperation will be part of the Trade and Technology Council set up by both allies to strengthen their economic ties. Senior officials will meet on Sunday and Monday in Paris to deepen their cooperation on fields including export controls, semiconductors and procurement.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai plan to attend from the US side. Dombrovskis, Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s digital affairs chief, as well as the head of internal markets, Thierry Breton, will represent the EU.
Although the EU is not facing a major food security crisis, Dombrovskis said, “we are facing food affordability issues” that could be tackled in the new platform.
As part of the new forum, the European Commission also wants to address the proliferation of export restrictions to ensure that there are sufficient agri-food commodities, especially for developing nations. But both sides are not expected to discuss the billions of euros that they provide to their farmers respectively to support production in their territory.