Trade barriers study to focus on processed foods

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Archer, R-TX, has asked the International Trade Commission to conduct an in-depth analysis of trade barriers to the export of processed food and beverages.

Until now, collection and analysis of trade data has focused primarily on commodities rather than intermediate or finished products. International trade in processed food and beverages is increasing twice as fast as that of commodities and is expected to account for nearly 75% of global food and agricultural trade by 2001. The study will help identify key markets, products and the most effective means for reducing or eliminating both tariff and nontariff trade barriers. Among the most nettlesome nontariff trade barriers are those related to packaging and labeling, such as recycled content and mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

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