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It is clear that this is becoming the new buzz word in Agriculture, with the next round of the EU-US negotiations on the TTIP penciled in for their 8th run in February. Many in Brussels are becoming increasingly negative of progress as the US seems to be more interested now in concluding the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the East.

It should also not be forgotten, especially for an Irish Agriculture point of view, that the EU has 13 other Trade agreements in motion around the globe which are at various levels of completion.

Recent soundings of the launch of a potential new Australia/New Zealand trade deal will be followed with interest with their embassies and lobby groups in Brussels becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress of any type.

Rumours of a joint Australian/NZ are around Brussels at present, and ICOS will follow these very closely from an agri perspective.

China, from a trade point of view, remains on the back burner. Limited progress is being made around rules for European companies wishing to set up or engage in joint ventures in China. The newly installed Trade Commissioner Malmstrom has promised to review progress in the area in 2015.