50 Years of Conflict and Convergence
The aim of this book is to examine and explain the evolution of US–EU trade relations in agricultural and food products over the past five decades. The relationship between countries that share broadly similar political and economic systems and social values has been disturbed on numerous occasions by disagreements over agriculture. High-level political discussions have time and again been interrupted by low-level issues concerning wheat, beef, chicken, bananas and soybeans. The tensions have far exceeded the normal differences in viewpoint of exporters and importers of a product. Each side of the Atlantic has in effect demonized the other in the realm of agricultural policy, attributing motives and perpetuating stereotypes sometimes far removed from reality. The current negotiation on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the latest stage in which this family drama is played out. But it also offers a possible resolution to the intractable issues: a convergence to an open market in agricultural and food products across the Atlantic.