11:50 GMT +324 March 2019
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    US Trade Office Seeks Access to EU Ag Markets Despite Resistance From Brussels

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States during upcoming talks will seek comprehensive access to sell agricultural goods in the EU market, the US Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) said in a summary of negotiating objectives.

    Earlier this week, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said her side made it clear to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer during talks earlier this week that the EU-US trade negotiations would focus on industrial goods and not agriculture.

    "Summary of specific negotiating objectives for the initiation of United States-European Union negotiations… [include] secure comprehensive market access for US agricultural goods in the EU by reducing or eliminating tariffs," the report said on Friday.

    The USTR will also seek to eliminate non-tariff barriers and restrictive EU rules on tariff rate quotas for US agricultural goods, the report said.

    The report also said the USTR will seek comprehensive duty-free market access in the EU for US industrial goods including textile and apparel goods.

    READ MORE: EU Sides With US in Criticism of China's 'Unfair' Trade Practices

    Malmstrom, Lighthizer, and Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko held trade talks earlier this week in Washington.

    Tensions between Washington and Brussels escalated last year when the EU filed a complaint with the WTO over US metal tariffs, which affected $7.3 billion in metal imports from Europe. The EU responded by imposing duties on $3.3 billion worth of US products — including steel, agricultural products, food staples, vessels, and clothing.

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    US Trade Representative (USTR), European Union, Hiroshige Seko, Cecilia Malmstrom, Robert Lighthizer, Brussels, United States
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