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Foreign Affairs Council on Trade Informal Meeting

Minister for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen TD discusses EU’s Trade Agenda with EU Counterparts

Highlights the need for EU Trade Agenda to take account of Ireland’s particular interests  

Minister for Trade Pat Breen, T.D., will today (Friday 13th October) be attending the Foreign Affairs Council on Trade hosted by the Estonian Presidency in Brussels.

At the Council, Minister Breen will meet with other EU Trade Ministers to discuss the ‘trade package’ announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as part of his State of the Union address on the 13th September 2017. He will underline Ireland’s support for the EU’s trade agenda in order to ensure that Irish exporters gain greater market share in existing markets and improved terms of entry to new markets. The Minister will also emphasise Ireland’s concerns on certain elements of the Trade Agenda, most notably on how negotiations on an Agreement with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) could impact on our agricultural sector, especially in relation to the beef market.

Speaking in advance of the Council, Minister Breen said “Given the critical importance of trade in supporting quality employment in Ireland and across the EU, we must re-double our efforts to ensure that the considerable benefits of the EU’s ambitious Free Trade Agenda are fully communicated to all EU citizens.”  

Minister Breen will take the opportunity to highlight to other Ministers the significance of the impact on Ireland of the UK’s departure from the EU, and will convey the unique nature of Ireland’s position as the Member State most directly affected by the UK’s exit.

Minister Breen will also meet with French Secretary of State Jean Baptiste Lemoyne to discuss the ongoing EU-Mercosur negotiations and also with UK Trade Minister of State Greg Hands MP with whom he will discuss the recent UK Government White Papers on Trade and Customs.

Minister Breen will once again take the opportunity to highlight the need for the Trade Agenda to take adequate regard of the particular impact of Brexit on Ireland.


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