Norway voices concern over US/EU trade deal –

Norway voices concern over US/EU trade deal Published:  09 April, 2014

NORWAY has expressed fears that a probable free trade deal between the United States and the European Union could adversely impact on its fish exports to member states.

The country’s trade minister, Monica Maeland, has warned that the potential impact could be serious.

Only last week Norway announced record seafood exports of 16.8 billion kroners (£1.68bn sterling) for the first quarter of this year.

Both fishermen, and politicians in Oslo, are worried that growth could now be at risk because countries like France and Britain, both large buyers of Norwegian fish, are members of the EU.

It is no secret that Norway’s two main trading partners, the US and the EU, are negotiating a free trade agreement which could see new tariffs against outside countries such as Norway.

Now the government in Oslo has prepared a report that looks at how any deal will affect the country – and it finds that the impact on fish exports could be serious.

It finds that demand for Norwegian fish could fall because Norway would not have tariff-free access to either blocs.

Maeland said it was a reality her country could not shut out. Norway’s EU Minister, Vidar Helgesen, said: ‘We must be vigilant and be prepared so we make informed decisions’, adding there could also be some benefits.

As a member of the EEA (European Economic Area) it was possible that Norway could gains easier access to US markets for example.

He said his country must watch developments closely although the government had not yet decided whether to ask for separate negotiations with America.

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